Weekly Thoughts From the Desk of the Principal

Find your happiness now, and then success and reward will surely follow. Click below to read this week's thoughts.

Gabriel Lucas

Sep 30, 2021

Weekly Thoughts From the Desk of the Principal

On Tuesday, my kids' middle school announced that one of our beloved teachers, Mrs. Sjolund, had passed away after a multiyear battle with cancer.  Mrs. Sjolund was just 54 years old.


Three things stood out to me over the years as I observed Mrs. Sjolund both from afar and near, including during multiple volunteer visits to help out in her classroom.  First, it was evident in her words and actions that she truly knew what made my kids tick — and for that matter what motivated each of her students.  Second, she always found teachable moments in the most unusual circumstances, such as explaining why her disdain for fighting was not antithetical to her unwavering love for professional hockey.  And third, in putting both of those observations together I could see that she truly loved her job as a teacher of early teenagers, a role into which she backpedaled after herself volunteering in the very classroom she would later come to lead. 


Her death is a reminder to me that we must all follow our passions.  Twice in my career I found myself in jobs that were terrible fits for me, and I didn't realize how miserable I was until I finally left them.  I see a lot of people looking for new jobs, and sometimes I wonder if they truly know, or want, what they might be getting into.  Life is too short to pursue a job that deep down you know is a bad fit in hopes of eventually landing that "dream job."  Find your happiness now, and then success and reward will surely follow.  While I have no empirical proof, I would stake my executive recruiting career on the following claim: happy people are more likely to get the promotions and opportunities they seek.  Put another way, I rarely see unhappy people get the jobs for which they are applying, because unhappiness is one of the easiest characteristics for a prospective employer to spot.


Mrs. Sjolund found happiness in her profession, and that translated into cheerful and thriving students and a remarkably successful, albeit far too short, career.  Her kindness and presence will be missed, but her legacy and spirit will live on in her students and fans.  Thank you, Mrs. Sjolund, for being a great role model to not just my children but also to me.




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