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  • Writer's pictureJim Mercer

SamTastic Weekly Tip: 4/15/24 - If this were your last day…

Today’s tip:  If this were your last day…


I love to read.  I may be one of Barnes and Noble’s favorite customers.  I buy, and read, two books every week, one fiction, one non-fiction.  Thanks to Starbucks, I have done this every weekend for years.


This weekend, I read Burn Book, by Kara Swisher, a history of the tech industry… perhaps the biggest wealth creation period, and time of change, in modern history.  Kara is a journalist who has covered the tech industry for years, from before the iPhone to today.  The book is fascinating, and she is remarkable. 


She shares how Apple’s founder Steve Jobs was obsessed with the limited time he had to make a difference.  He had been diagnosed with cancer.  He knew his life was short.  It was then he created the iPhone, a device that impacted all of our lives.  In relating his story, she asks, “If this were your last day, what are you doing that is important to you?”


In other words, look at your TimeTrack, the things you plan to do today.  Can you identify an event that you want to do?  Do you see an event that will move you closer to your goals?  If so, great.  If not, change it up today.


The SAM Process is all about intentionality.  What are your intentions today?  Have you scheduled work you believe will help teachers help students?  If not, what could you do today that would?  Make sure your TimeTrack aligns with your intentions.  Do you want to create an iPhone today…or a Palm Pilot? It is entirely up to you.


Your work is important.  You face remarkably difficult challenges that could cause you to miss the opportunities to do good today.  In your SAM Daily Meeting, identify the good you can do.  You will feel better, and your staff and students will benefit.

Last week we featured Board member Nathan Roberts in the SamTastic Weekly Tip.  Today, see a report, below, on the NSIP Board Meeting last week and meet Board President Bert Hendee.

Your NSIP Board of Directors’ most recent meeting was held via Zoom (following Solar Eclipse viewing) Monday, April 8, 2024.


We were given an update on the current rubric assessment for SAM Teams that is currently in process and look forward to reviewing data at our July board meeting.  We also reviewed the process for our board self-evaluation which we review, discuss and use to make future plans at our July board meeting.


As always, we serve to help strengthen the organization and support you in the important work you do each and every day.  If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to any board member at any time.  Our contact information is on the NSIP website.

Bert Hendee, NSIP Board President

Meet Board President Bert Hendee: 


Bert retired from education after 35 years as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and director of Human Resources and Leadership Development in Springfield, IL. She then spent 11 years as an assistant director for the Large Unit District Association in Illinois, supporting leaders in the largest school districts in Illinois.


Through the association with Mark Shellinger when both were leading the work with the Wallace Foundation LEAD project in their districts, she brought SAMs to Springfield as she was retiring in 2007. When SAMs became the National SAM Innovation Project non-profit in 2011, she was part of the founding board of directors and has humbly served as its president ever since. Bert also serves as a Time Change Coach and has done some Implementation Specialist work, although her focus is on coaching and serving as president of the board.


Bert is passionate about the work being done by school and district leaders, which is why she wholeheartedly works to support the mission and vision of NSIP. Supporting our school and district leaders is critical to the success of teaching and learning for our children—and for our future.

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