It’s still a great time to be a Hawk!

February 4, 2020

Good afternoon.

First – I think we need to clarify that this is my personal blog. I’ve had it for several years and found it to be a valuable communication tool. Most recently, it has been a convenient landing spot for all SkyView HS communication. I will continue to utilize it in the future both as a blog and communication tool; however, I will likely not be posting here for some time as I take a moment of pause and step back from things for a while. Moving forward, I am fairly certain that SkyView will not be using this blog.

Second, it has been my intention to not post to my blog at all these next few months – to simply “go dark” and refrain from making any “statements.” However, I am receiving a lot of comments and being asked many questions, especially with regard to the parent meeting this evening. So here are a few quick thoughts in advance of that meeting.

First things first:

  1. I apologize for not posting something prior to my resignation. It was not my intention to catch you off-guard with this decision. Please forgive me.
  2. SkyView is not likely to ask me to reconsider my resignation. And if they do, I am standing by my decision and will not be returning. Let me see if I can briefly explain why.

Yesterday was the first day in many years that I woke up and three key things were different at the start of my day:

  1. I didn’t wake up at 3:00 in the morning thinking about SkyView, worrying about an email, or trying to process 100’s of factors that would impact a decision I needed to make (and would inevitably make me unpopular with somebody). That has been the pattern for the last several years, but yesterday I woke up after a good night’s sleep with my mind at ease and just laid quietly in bed to start the day.
  2. My wife and I had time to stand by the fire and drink a cup of coffee together. I wasn’t out the door before everybody else was up, I wasn’t rushing off to work to begin my day, and I wasn’t feeling the strain of a long list of items that needed to be accomplished.
  3. I was able to honestly kiss my wife goodbye without any stress or worries clouding my mind. Most mornings for the past several years my wife has been lucky to get a peck on the cheek, and even if she did get a kiss, my mind was already preoccupied with something “SkyView” as I headed out the door.

And then yesterday in the evening we stood by the fire together watching the snow fall outside. Our dogs were playing on the couch, and I asked how she felt about all of this. She smiled and said, “I’m just so glad you don’t have the stress anymore. I feel like I got my husband back.”

People are wondering what happened. …asking if I resigned, …speculating that maybe I was fired, … trying to determine what caused this. Undoubtedly, theories, opinions, and rumors about my resignation will be flying around and growing like a noxious weed in the heat of summer. I’m afraid you will have to decide for yourself what you want to believe. But here is the truth: I am fine.

And that being established, here are my “final wishes” and what I ask of the SkyView community:

  1. ADMIN: To my best friends Linda and Janet, Do what you must to get the SkyView community through this difficult time. I don’t need to say any more than that right now. We’ll talk again soon I’m sure…
  2. HS STAFF: Go be the best that you can be and don’t try to figure all of this out. Focus on teaching and honor me by being all that I have coached you (and allowed you) to be – as teachers and as professionals. Do your best to keep your emotions from getting the best of you and prioritize the education of our students. Take all of the lessons I have tried to instill in you these past 4 years and make the next 4 months the finest of your careers!
  3. PK-8 STAFF: I ask that you please respect the grief my team is experiencing and allow them a moment to get through this. I’ve led this team for almost 4 years and worked with some of these staff members for 7 years. Give them a moment to be sad – it will pass.
  4. STUDENTS: Go to class! Oh yeah: and graduate! Okay, okay – in all seriousness… The four years you spend in high school is a small part of life. This moment in time (whether you are happy, indifferent, or sad) is even smaller. The biggest and best in life is yet to come. Believe me! SkyView is offering you a huge chance to learn how to think critically and withstand the challenges you will inevitably face. Take advantage of this opportunity while you can.
  5. PARENTS: Some of you love me and some of you – well – don’t. …and that’s okay. Many of you have asked what you can do to help. Here is what I think you should do… First, go to the parent meeting tonight, listen to the plan leadership has for moving forward, and decide how you can best support that plan. Second, support my teachers with all your heart. I challenge you to take the rest of this semester and find any-way-and-every-way that you can to encourage them, support them, and motivate them to be the best that they can be. Remain patient with them, for they are not perfect – none of us are – but they come pretty close. Always assume the best of them. I cannot possibly describe with words how hard they all work and sacrifice every single day to do their best and to be their best. Please get behind them. If you are looking for a way to support me, please get behind my staff.

Look: I’m going to be okay. In fact, I’m going to be more than okay. My decision to resign has granted me a tremendous opportunity to step away from the stress and constant work that has robbed me of many precious things in life. I now have time to focus on my wife, my son, my health, and the many personal hobbies/interests that have fallen to the wayside in recent years. For that, I am glad. And for that, you should be glad for me.

Best wishes to you all. May our paths cross again someday. It always has been and still is a great time to be a Hawk!

With Regards,

JA Full Name Signature

Jon Ail,
Former SkyView HS Principal

12 thoughts on “It’s still a great time to be a Hawk!

  1. Thank you for such a well written message, it’s my first year at Sky View with my two high school girls. I am a bit taken back by all of this and hope to see some clarity soon. Working with parents these days can be a nightmare and I often wonder why anyone wants to take these positions anymore. I wish you the best of luck and hope you can take some much needed time to reflect and enjoy what the future brings.


  2. I appreciate you message here and admit I’m thrown off by it all. My son Dylan Jones chide you’re school for the teachers that he met and interviewed at a college fair. I knew if the school and that there was this great principal that everyone adored. Dylan’s educational path was planned and we were happy with the leadership. It saddens me but I hope that this truly is good for you. You will be missed even though we just barely begin our journey at SVA.


  3. I truly appreciate your message. We have loved all that you have done for Skyview and it’s truly a shame that the administration didn’t feel the same. My daughter was very happy with you and all that you did as well; we can only hope all the good will not be reversed. You were an excellent leader and obviously cared about the students. Your departure is definitely a huge loss for Skyview.


  4. Jon, as a brand new school counselor re-entering the workforce, you provided the kindness, acceptance and safety necessary for me to effectively grow into my role at SkyView Academy. My counselor identity, professionalism and sense of belonging at this school has been molded largely by your servant leadership and inclusivity. I know your legacy will continually radiate through the remarkable staff you supported, mentored and cherished and you will not soon be forgotten. Thanks for all you’ve invested, Jon!


  5. As an alumnus of the school you helped to develop, thanks for all you did for my peers and me. I am very sorry to see you go, as is the vast majority of both the current and past SkyView community. Thank you for all the long hours you put in and your relentless drive to make a good school even better. Thank you for defending and standing behind your teachers. And finally, thank you for all you did for me personally my senior year. I’m glad you’re happier now, and I wish the best for you moving forward.


  6. Mr. Ail,
    We have had the pleasure to be with you for 4 years and we are extremely saddened by your departure. You have been an importance part of Sam’s HS experience and success, and we will be forever grateful. You have always shown such kindness and thoughtfulness. When my sister was diagnosed with brain cancer, you allowed us to go be with her as she underwent her final surgery. You provided a solid moral presence within the HS community that impacted Sam, and your weekly blogs gave encouragement to us as parents. We wish you much happiness and success in whatever is next for you. You will be missed. Many thanks. Pierson Family


  7. Mr. Ail,
    You seem like an outstanding leader. Will you please consider applying to my child’s charter school in Littleton (Littleton Academy)? The school has an opening for a principal and I think you would be a great fit. I hope you do.


  8. Hi Mr. Ail,
    We wanted to share with you one of the Big Idea Projects for 2020. Sam and his crew thought you would appreciate it. Here is the YouTube link.

    If you want to drop them a note-

    Hope you are well.


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