Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Making Every Moment Magical

I am an avid Disney fan.  My vision of organizational leadership is heavily influenced by the experience the Disney brand creates for their customers across every touch-point in the organization.

I have so many fond memories of Walt Disney World as a child.  My eyes were opened to a whole new world of fantasy and adventure.  My imagination ran wild with ideas and possibilities.  Now, I am able to relive those moments through the eyes of my own children when they meet Disney characters or see the spectacular fireworks displays.

I admire how Disney paves the way for innovation.  Disney is never comfortable with the status quo and they continue to push the limits of what can be done.  Time after time, Disney invents new experiences that create richer and more memorable experiences.  Some innovations are as simple as a fast-pass lane, while others are as complicated as a GPS wristband that acts as a room key, fast-pass, and photo pass.  Walt Disney continues to blaze a path millions of people have traveled by living a simple but profound mantra, “If you can dream it, you can do it!”

What excites me the most about the Disney Company is their unparalleled commitment to customer service.  The Company offers world-class service through every facet of the organization.  Whether you call on the phone, chat online, or interact with the cast member in person, you are always treated as a priority and afforded dignity and respect.  Each cast member is charged with making every moment magical.

While fresh off of my most recent visit to Walt Disney World, I can’t help but make connections between Disney and my vision for organizational leadership.  I desire to make every moment magical.  I strive to open the eyes of our students to a whole new world through dynamic and exciting experiences.  I always strive to foster innovation but not just for the mere sake of innovation.  I seek to innovate in order to provide world-class customer service by meeting the needs and exceeding the expectations of my students, families, and fellow colleagues.  As a former Disney executive, Lee Cockerell explains, “It’s not the magic that makes it work, it’s the way we work that makes magic.”  I hope to embody this phrase for my customers daily.

Friday, October 10, 2014

"Because I said so!"

"Because I said so!" - That phrase is so powerful, so freeing.  It is my trump card, my "go to" phrase when my authority is threatened.  I imagine if He-Man was ever questioned by Skeletor, the response would be "BECAUSE I SAID SO!"  

Be honest.  How many of us have said that to our children?  I must admit, I have said that on more than one occasion.  My son asks "Why?" all the time!  And yes, when I am exhausted or tired of answering the question, I just sass back, "Because I said so!"  

Let me be the first to confess, that is probably the worst thing I can say to my son.  His impressionable mind, just soaking up all the knowledge he can, wants to investigate every thing that exists, including my thoughts and my actions.  I should be celebrating his inquisitiveness rather than dismissing his curiosity.  I want to encourage that kind of critical thinking and help him understand what it is he is observing.  After all, he is going to be just like me.  I might as well let him know why!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Letter to My Students

Dear Students of the Maurice River Township School District,

It was such an honor and a privilege to work with you this past school year.  We had such an amazing learning experience.  As your teachers challenged you to think outside the box and to strive for excellence, you challenged us to set the bar higher and to see you all as individuals, ready for anything.  You have inspired us to step our game up to ensure that each of you can achieve your dreams.  We hope you have an amazing summer.  Primose ouy wlil raed soemtihng eervyady; ohetrwsie ouy wno't rmebmer how!  See you in September!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Get Involved

As many of you know, my family welcomed Chloe Florence into the world recently.  We are immeasurably blessed!  I could try to quantify our blessing in diapers, bottles, and hours of sleep deprivation, but who would care.  One thing I was very concerned with was the response of Little Wally during the addition of our new bundle of joy.  Being very conscious of his esteem during this time, I have made a concentrated effort to spend quality time with him everyday.  When I say quality time, I refer to time that he values as important.  For example, while we were watching the Phillies game on Sunday, he noted that he wants to play baseball when he is big.  My heart leaped for joy and we immediately grabbed the batting tee and headed out back.  He was a natural!

The time I get to spend with him now is irreplaceable and I am grateful for every moment.  As life only gets busier and the commitments of the family increase greatly, I need to ensure that I keep my priorities in check.  Like many of you, I aspire to keep the education of my children one of my top priorities by getting involved in the life and mission of the school.  As a parent to my parents, I appreciate all you do for your children to encourage their hard work and dedication to their studies and thank you for being involved in the life of the school.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I think it's only appropriate to write this post as Winter Storm Janus heads towards Maurice River Township.  Janus is actually the name of a two-faced god who looks back into the past and also into the future, which is why in January, we make New Year's resolutions.  In Rome, during the pre-Christian era, citizens made moral resolutions to help them treat each other with more respect.  In the 21st Century, we use January 1 as a time to reset goals such as eating healthy, working out, or starting a retirement plan.  As important as those commitments are; however, we shouldn't lose focus on making our world a better place.  I challenge you to resolve this year to set goals that not only benefit you and your family, but benefit the world as a whole.  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Happy Holidays!

The MRTES Family would like to wish you and yours a fabulous holiday season this year.  Today is crazy holiday sweater day at MRTES.  Many of the staff have decorations, garland, even lights attached to their sweaters in hopes of being the ugliest sweater in the bunch.  I particularly enjoy Mr. Hocker's sweater as he has crafted a beautiful design, but it is not ugly by any stretch.  We will announce the winner soon.

Much to the disappointment of students, MRTES will be in session on December 23, 2013 on a half day schedule.  Many of the classes will be holding their holiday celebrations that day.  Students and staff will return on January 2, 2013 for a full day of fun and learning.

Please be safe and enjoy the break and remember to enjoy the precious moments you have with your family.


Welcome to the MRT Chief School Administrator blog.  This site exists to share important information, silly anecdotes, and general happenings from inside the walls of MRTES.  I must say it truly is a privilege to serve as the Chief School Administrator of the Maurice River Township Elementary School and the welcome I received has been overwhelming.  I am excited about the things we are going to accomplish together this year, but in order for our partnership to be truly effective, we need your input.  Please feel free to reach out to me anytime for any reason.  My email is wkappeler@mrtes.com and the office number is (856) 825-7411 ext. 225.  I look forward to hearing from you.