I live in a small town where we have a volunteer fire department. My husband has been a member of the fire department for more years than I have known him. This fall my son joined the department as a proba-tionary member. There have been many times when Tim had a day off with an agreed upon to‐do list that never got done because he spent the whole day at the fire house and/or on fire runs. There have been times when the firefighters had to set up for events so I was home alone cleaning house, baking pies, doing laundry, etc. Despite the incomplete tasks at my house, many in my community, including myself, appreciate the commitment of our approximately 40 volunteer firefighters.
Sometimes our commitments come along because of our children. In second grade, my son was fascinated by a talk at school about joining Cub Scouts which began our every other week den meetings and monthly pack meetings. At the end of the year the assistant den leader announced she was leaving. I moved in to help the den leader and eventually became the den leader. Not only was my son committed to this new adventure, I was now involved by getting him to the events, selling popcorn, planning meetings, and helping the boys work on advancements, belt loops, patches, and pins.
A few years ago my son joined another Boy Scout group, Crew 45. They meet a couple times a month at Dillon Sportsman Center north of Zanesville. At first, he was very committed and dependent on mom to drive him to all the meetings and activities. It was a new organization so the adults in charge were happy to know I had Boy Scout leadership experience. I became secretary for the committee early on and am even now listed as the committee chair. Lately my attendance has probably been more dependable than my son’s.
Around the middle of December the radio station to which I often listen shared a thought from speaker, author, and behavioral science academic Dr. Steve Maraboli as their inspiratoon for the day. In his book, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience Dr. Maraboli states: Intent reveals desire; action reveals commitment. Hearing this thought made me want to rush home and finish my article for the newsletter.
We all desire to belong and to be part of something bigger. We all have good intentions, but where are we directing our efforts? Our actions are evidence of our commitment. This may be easier in some songs than in others like with our family, faith, and work. In those arenas, people depend on us and we do not want to let them down. We have mouths to feed, bills to pay, care to provide, and so much more. Let us go beyond those areas to others where we think we are committed.
I am committed to professional growth. Are you really? We only had 20 EOPO members at our fall conference. We have even fewer EOPO members who hold Professional Standards Program (PSP) certifications through the National Association of Educational Office Professionals (NAEOP). When is the last time you picked up a book or article to read so you could be better at your job? Will you take time to visit the web links shared by our fall conference presenters? How long has it been since you attended a NAEOP Conference? Online webinar? School professional development event?
I am committed to encouraging others to grow. Are you really? This fall I had the opportunity to speak at a regional conference about a great program we had at Otterbein University during summer 2014. This was a similar presentation I did with a colleague at another conference in April. You do not need to present at a conference, but you can at least share something you learned with others in your office. Have you written down your technology tips and included them in the staff newsletter? Did you watch a great TED Talk (www.ted.com) that is worth sharing with others? Will you print a copy of this newsletter and leave it somewhere others can read it?
I am committed to the Educational Office Professionals of Ohio. If your contribution to EOPO has only been financial, then you are in the intent—desire stage of the inspirational statement above. If you are serving on a committee or in an elected or appointed position, you have moved into the action— commitment stage. For organizations like EOPO to continue and to grow, we need as many people as possible to make a full commitment. Help with the spring conference. Read scholarship applications. Nominate your administrator for an award. Get six more people from your school to join EOPO. You can even run for an office.
I hope as the New Year begins you will join me and others by making a commitment to EOPO which is realized through our actions. This is the only way we can achieve this year’s theme of Collective Forward Momentum and our mission.
Katherine G. H. Reichley, CEOE
President and NAEOP State Membership Chairperson
Educational Office Professionals of Ohio
Academic Assessment and Accreditation Specialist
Office of Academic Affairs
c/o Otterbein University
1 S. Grove St.
Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: (614) 823-1173 Fax: (614) 823-1335
The Educational Office Professionals of Ohio is dedicated to promoting professionalism through developing skills, enhancing knowledge, and encouraging growth.