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John Murphy: Leadership in Action Nose Creek Elementary School 2006 ! 2012

To John, We are grateful and privileged to work with you as our leader and principal. Starting our school from scratch and leading us as a community into the 21st century with vision, integrity, humour, caring and educational expertise has indeed enriched our lives. Your stories have especially entertained, touched and taught us. We hope this collection of our thoughts can begin to give back to you some of what you have given to us. May this book open a space for great memories to flourish. May it provide time for reflection and pause for thought. May it become a celebration of our time together.

With heartfelt thanks from those you have touched and inspired


If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. John Quincy Adams

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. Warren G. Bennis


After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the things we need most in the world. Philip Pullman

The leadership instinct you are born with is the backbone. You develop the funny bone and the wishbone that go with it .... Elaine Agather

... and the music !!!!!

A Story About Leadership Back in the third century A.D. the King Ts'ao sent his son, Prince T'ai, to the temple to study under the great master Pan Ku. Because Prince T'ai was to succeed his father as king, Pan Ku was to teach the boy the basics of being a good ruler. When the prince arrived at the temple, the master sent him alone to the Ming-Li forest. When Prince T'ai returned, Pan Ku asked the boy to describe all that he could hear. "Master", replied the prince, "I could hear the cuckoos sing, the leaves rustle, the hummingbirds hum, the crickets chirp, the grass blow, the bees buzz, and the wind whisper and holler." When the prince had finished, the master told him to go back to the forest to listen to what more he could hear. The prince was puzzled by the master's request. Had he not discerned every sound already? For days and nights on end, the young prince sat alone in the forest listening. But he heard no sounds other than those he had already heard. Then one morning, as the prince sat silently beneath the trees, he started to discern faint sounds unlike those he had ever herd before. The more acutely he listened, the clearer the sounds became. The feeling of enlightenment enveloped the boy. "These must be the sounds the master



wished me to discern," he reflected. " When Prince T'ai returned to the temple, the master asked him what more he had heard. "Master," responded the prince reverently, "when I listened most closely, I could hear the unheard -- the sound of flowers opening, the sound of the sun warming the earth, and the sound of the grass drinking the morning dew." The master nodded approvingly. "To hear the unheard," remarked Pan Ku, "is a necessary discipline to be a good ruler. For only when a ruler has learned to listen closely to the people's hearts, hearing their feelings uncommunicated, pains unexpressed, and complaints not spoken of, can he hope to inspire confidence in his people, understand when something is wrong, and meet the true needs of his citizens. The demise of states comes when leaders listen only to superficial words and do not penetrate deeply into the souls of the people to hear their true opinions, feelings, and desires." I have only been here a short time, but it is my belief that John hears the unheard sounds of his staff and the students of Nose Creek Elementary, and that is why he is such a good leader. Terie Rae Rickie

A leader is one that people look up to for answers, guidance and inspiration. A leader has to watch himself constantly, keep a cool head, practice what he preaches and lead by example. David Hakala, in The Barking Unicorn

A Story About John The first staff meeting with John as our new principal in Crossfield was the most memorable meeting I have ever attended, and the day that I started trusting John. We knew nothing about the new principal and of course wondered what new initiatives and requirements would be directed from him.


John stood in front of us, in his best business suit, introduced himself, and then as he always does at meetings, told a story. He then asked us to write the things we valued at our school on stickies. He asked us to read aloud and sort the stickies by what we could not give up and what we could live without. He listened to what we said, and then through discussion and communication, guided us through to a common belief in what we valued: reading. John pressed us further as to how we would be able to transform from "a good school to a great school". Further discussion led to him promising us that we would become a great school.

Our journey started together, and we did become not just a great school, but an exceptional one. Many years of working with John have passed and I am a better teacher for having known John's leadership, mentorship and support through the years, not only as a staff member, but also as his child's teacher. He has always made me believe that I have something to contribute and that I can be great. He makes me feel valued not only as a teacher, but also as a person, always taking time to listen, talk and laugh. John is a smart, smart man and I realized afterward that we had "been had"! He knew where he wanted to go with the staff, but he made us believe that we determined this direction and focus. He is a true leader in that he knew how to inspire us and mobilize our talents. The most memorable part of that day was when John Murphy, the new guy, told us that he had just come from the north and that he would be our "North Star, guiding us in the night". John kept his promise and I have ever since thought of him that way. Dez


Leadership is the readiness to stand out in a crowd. John C. Maxwell

Memorable Quotes From John You are liked if I can tease you. I must really like you! I'm not going to pass up the opportunity to talk. So, let me tell you a story. I don't have ADHD - I'm multi-tasking. What I picture is children's voices filling the hall with music, and kids reading in every corner. Use a kind word when a harsh word could be used. We have many blessings. There's always money for what you need. It's important for me to convey to you how wonderful you are. People will remember how you make them feel, not the words you say. Keep it simple!


Phrases and words John uses to inspire and support:


Gift of time Be present Celebrate Thank you Optics Big picture Public service with a moral purpose Good to great Learn to read, love to read! It's always about relationships Be kind

Work hard then go home and enjoy being with your family.


The Story of a Principal

There once was a man from the coast; of Newfoundland really but not one to boast. Fishing and lobsters he knew very well, you'd have thought this life would have been just swell.


But John wanted more, pursued higher education. "I think I'll teach in a classroom situation". So that's what he did and went on to succeed, teaching for years where there was a need.

To Yellowknife next with the Inuit and snow, his family was sad but he needed to go. From fishing and lobsters to skidoos and bears, the learning curve was huge and hardly seemed fair.

John married, had Patrick and settled in some; not one to rest long, new ideas would come. "I think I'll be a principal", he said with a smile. "I'll do it with class, I'll do it with style".

The first thing he did, got his Master's degree "I'll now be the boss of them, just wait and see!" The next thing he did was go to a mall Klein, Lauren, and Hilfiger - he bought from them all. A darn good principal is what he became Took leadership courses and read books of the same John's restlessness grew and he knew it was time Time to move, once again, but this time to sunshine. The darkness and cold seemed more than he could stand To move somewhere warmer was what he had planned. His next move was to Crossfield, a small little town Where a grocery store, bank and golf course are found.


John became principal of that small country school He changed things for the better and before anyone knew, Crossfield Elementary went from a good school to great He was loved by us all, we were so glad of our fate.


His next move, unplanned, was a total surprise A new school in Airdrie would be our demise. His leadership was needed, he was the best that they had He went to Nose Creek Elementary and boy were we sad! It wasn't too long before some of us moved We were lost without him, we had lost our groove We needed to be inspired, to be part of a team There's only one place to get this, or so it would seem.

It's funny how life has a way of unfolding He still wears brand names and his hairline is holding Years of experience and far from the coast Yet the stories come back to that fishing boat. I've known you seven years now and I can honestly say I feel privileged beyond words, but I'll try if I may You've made me a better teacher, you've allowed me to grow Through teamwork and by example and just so you know You are a leader of leaders, a master among men I'm so fortunate to know you and call you a friend. Dawn Fodor


Oakum - used chiefly for caulking seams in ships. Your leadership is the oakum that holds the people and our organization together so it will be truly "seaworthy".


It takes a village to raise a child.



It was evident when I joined the staff at Nose Creek, that you were a champion of literacy, a topic close to my heart. In the past three years, I have also come to appreciate and respect your vision and resolve to effect the numerous changes necessary to make this school a community where the diverse needs of children and staff members are addressed. What further merits my admiration is the leadership trait I believe is unique to you in comparison to the many administrators I have known, and that is your facility of knowing the exact inspirational message or celebration to offer your team at the precise moment it is needed. Kathleen Davies

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou

Don't tell people what to do or how to do things, let them surprise you with their results. George S. Patton


When a man does what needs to be done, he does not know the meaning of time. Chief Dan George


The Value and Wisdom in Roots Isn't it wonderful when people who were brought up in Newfoundland move to Alberta? They bring with them honesty, hospitality and caring for everyone. The proof in the pudding is the food gardens grown by several families along their main highways where the land is suitable, and that food is never stolen! If you need assistance to find your way - ask a stranger. They will take you to the desired place. If you stay at a Bed and Breakfast place, your hosts will make you feel you are one of their family. If you haven't visited Newfoundland, take a holiday, meet the people, see the historic sites, the lighthouses, and all that is different from here in the West - you will be more than welcomed! Our Principal brings with him all the ideals of Newfoundland and in addition he brings a wonderful leadership in a modest and caring way that makes Nose Creek School very special. Our community will benefit in the future from what his students have learned from his example! Elsie Dandy

The young and the old are closest to life. They love every minute daily. Chief Dan George

Contemplate wisdom.

On Reflection Something I appreciate about John is how he has challenged me to reflect upon my teaching practice. Several years ago I remember being given a gift bag with an assortment of objects inside. John gave us few instructions, only an invite to take a look at the items and reflect upon them in relation to our own teaching. Some of the items seemed easy to make personal connections with, like a package of thank-you cards. Then there were the more difficult objects to consider! A Wildlife Warning System? Of that particular collection of objects this is the only one I have left. It sits in my desk drawer and from time to time I see it and think back upon the exercise. It brings to mind the importance of reflection in our lives. I remember first looking at it and thinking, "What connections can I make with this?" Safety? Yes, we need to keep our students safe. But maybe there was a more meaningful association to develop! I thought about how this device uses high frequency sound waves that only animals can hear. Maybe we as teachers often receive signals from our students that other people in


their lives may not. Perhaps we need to be on the alert for these to understand and assist more effectively. I think I will keep this Wildlife Warning System in my desk. Each time I see it I am reminded of the importance of reflection and I take a moment to consider that day more thoroughly, and my practice is better for it!


John has reinforced for me the power of reflection through this simple object that I might otherwise have disregarded and has encouraged me along my own path of learning! Thank you John for the wisdom you impart through simple means! Lisa Guy "Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action."


If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. Antoine de Saint-Exupery 36

Inspirational Leadership


What stands out about John is how inspirational he is. On my first day at Nose Creek, I was quite nervous and shy, but John's welcoming words and sense of family and belonging made me feel comfortable. During staff meetings, I always enjoy listening to his stories and experiences, quotes from books and video clips, which inspire me to be a better teacher, a better mother and a better person. Going back to my first day at Nose Creek, I remember calling my husband Wade after our first meeting and all I said to him was, "I love my new school!!!" then hung up the phone and ran outside to fly airplanes (that John had given to the staff!). Thank you John, for giving me a new love and passion for my career again. Elena Cormier


Leadership is based on a spiritual quality; the power to inspire, the power to inspire others to follow. Vince Lombardi

What chance gathers, she easily scatters. A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together. Johann Wolfgang Goethe


Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. Mother Teresa

We Can


Little child, they can't stop the dream we're dreaming They can't stop us from believing They will fill your head with doubt, but that won't stop us now Let them say we can't do it, put up a road block We'll just run right through it! We can do the impossible We are following our hearts And we won't stop, cause we've got to make a difference in this life With one voice, one heart, two hands, we can! John, this song reminds me of you and your inspirational ways, especially the last two lines. Geri-Lynn Proud


A great leader is always master of the situation, of necessity a great thinker in action. An eagle was never yet hatched from a goose's egg. Author Unknown

Footprints on the Heart


Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for a while, leave footprints on our hearts And we are never, ever the same. Author unknown



It is always good to know, if only in passing, charming human beings. It refreshes one like flowers and woods and clear brooks. George Eliot

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. John F. Kennedy

To Quit or Not to Quit


I was ready for a change but I was pretty particular about what that change would be. My standards were high and the criteria strict. Should I leave my current position in a school that was close to home and doing a job I loved for something brand new and unknown? It was a dilemma. I met John on an early May morning where we sat and talked about children, education and his philosophy about reading. I should say he talked - I listened. It was the most unique interview I had ever had. I left thinking that I did not make much of an impression and that John's claims that every child in his school would read and that at Nose Creek there

would be 1000 home reading books in every classroom were rather lofty statements to make. I really had no idea where I stood on the candidate list. To my surprise and joy, I received THE CALL, (even though I went to the interview in open toed sandals!). I made the scary decision to give up a good position, years of seniority and the security of what was familiar. Did John make lofty statements about what he was going to achieve? You bet, but the man pulls it off. He has brought to fruition, every one of his claims. He aims high and expects nothing less of others. I am thankful for having the opportunity to take the risk and join Nose Creek. His unfailing support, belief in what I do and myself as an individual, his willingness to listen and truly 'hear' concerns are the difference between a good administrator and one who shows 'excellence'. I have never looked back. So yeah, "I quit". Rae McMullen



A room without books is like a body without a soul. Marcus Tullius Cicero


A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done. Ralph Nader

A Day in the Life of Nose Creek


Twas two weeks before Christmas and all through the halls There were children and teachers and intercom calls John and Diane were busy as well There was chaos a happening, the story I'll tell. A stinky poop problem in a class of Grade One From another, oh no a student did run A teacher was frazzled from words very bad On the bathroom walls written, it was very sad A grade 2 computer we think is possessed And even her IPAD cannot pass the test! This morning we had just one broken arm Three bloody noses and a skunk from the farm. The skunk soon escaped in the staff room I'm told But a quick thinking assistant soon did get hold The Lost and Found's overflowing with mountains of clothes

And close by in the library, guess who's blowing her nose? There's one student biting, but that he denies Another is stealing and telling some lies Two young boys were fighting and peed in the snow The parents are called so that they know. It's just a short time, Christmas Break well deserved The wine in Rae's room - hmmmmm - office staff well preserved! Cindy Macneill-Seerup 53


Sincerely, Ann Provost

Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it. Dwight Eisenhower

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

Dear John, Throughout this year I have always felt that getting to work at Nose Creek was an opportunity and a privilege. I walked out of the very first staff meeting feeling like I had won the job lottery. You spoke about keeping things simple, about caring for the kids and caring for our self. I felt valued and was inspired, but even more so, I felt at ease about what was expected of me in the year to come. This is large part due to the clear vision you have for this school. I wasn't overwhelmed with programs, or initiatives, or struggling to find what I needed. You encouraged me to focus on building relationships with students and to work with my team. My team is amazing. In my job interview you told me that this school was full of master teachers that I would get to learn from and with. You could not have been more right. This school is full of exceptional teachers and I'm sure you would agree that many of them are also deserving of


an excellence in teaching award. I believe that we have you to thank for that. You have filled this school with wonderful people, and you make us all want to do better in our work and in our personal lives. You are approachable, and most importantly, you are truly supportive. It is such a pleasure to work in a school where I know that my administration will provide me with the tools I need to be successful in my job. 58

You provide us with more than just tools for the job though. You go above and beyond to make sure that the staff, students and families of Nose Creek love being here. One day I hope to be principal of a school. When that time comes (you will probably be on a golf course somewhere!), I know I will frequently reflect upon the examples of outstanding leadership you provide every day. You have a great sense of humour and a clear understanding of what a school needs to be successful in every way. Congratulations on your award, and thank you for making me love coming to work! Kristine Schmaltz


A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, translated from Turkish

A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches a heart. Author Unknown

About John My personal experience with John began when I was looking for my first teaching position that was my own, not a temporary maternity leave contract. After teaching for two years, in multiple classrooms and in five different grade levels, I was really motivated to find a placement for myself that I could call my own. Some place I could unpack my Rubbermaid tubs of teaching materials and hang my bulletin board borders! So when I heard of a new school opening in Airdrie, I thought that this could be my opportunity! When I went or my interview with John I was so nervous and wound up because I had been focusing on this as my big opportunity. Little did I know at the time that it was going to be so much more! I waited in John's office after school for him to become available for my interview. In my head I was reviewing all the ways I had to sell myself to this principal, a hard task as a teacher with little or varied experience. When John walked in he said "Hi" and told me to "relax and meditate for a second while I take care of something." In my head I realized he already had me figured out! When he returned, our interview began. He pointed out he was a "book pusher" and emphasized how important reading was to elementary students. As well, John told me



"money is never an issue". This was a new concept to me! All I had heard about in my short teaching time was how there was never enough money for education. In the six years I have taught at this school, John has proven that money is never a problem. Neither has there been a shortage of home reading books! John went on to explain how he was looking for "good Christmas trees" and what that entailed. I told him that as a new teacher I didn't have all the answers to his academic type interview questions, not knowing that the PM Benchmark assessment tool was. He reassured me that he didn't want a teacher with all the answers, but one that wanted to learn. He asked me about moving from the school that would house us, to our new school and what I thought about that it if was the middle of winter. I responded, "we would just put on our boots and winter coats and move, that is what's good about new teachers - we wouldn't complain but just be thankful to have a classroom to move from and to." Receiving the phone call from human resources that offered me a job at Nose Creek Elementary teaching grade one was truly one of the most exciting days of my life. Somehow I knew what an amazing opportunity I had offered to me, and that I was going to experience something that would be difficult to match in any other school.

During my first year at Nose Creek I was focused on trying to do everything the best I possibly could, to prove to John and myself that I deserved this golden opportunity and would not disappoint! I, like many others, volunteered to do extra jobs, attended all the work bees to level our home reading books, helped plan and attend all the social functions the staff had, to help us come together as a teaching community. The staff did this because we wanted to, and because we saw the value in it. We began to work collaboratively and enjoy each other's company. So when John had to discuss with me a concern that a parent had about a grey Pathfinder speeding through the community, I was devastated, sure I had disappointed John and that I would now never get my permanent contract. However, after that conversation, nothing changed, and in fact, it was often joked about! And I did receive that permanent contract! I have no other like experience to compare this to, but I truly believe that helping to open this school would not have been as much of a fun and memorable experience without the leadership of John. I know I will forever reflect on these years of my teaching career as some of my most enjoyable. I have learned so much from the experienced teachers John has surrounded the new teachers with. And I have learned so much from John about children, parents, teaching, and education. John has also


been a confidant through many personal challenges I have faced over the past few years. I cherish every "frank" conversation we have had over the past few years! John, I am proud to work for you and call you my friend. You are such a unique and personable leader. You make others around you want to do better and be better. Thank you for giving me this golden opportunity to work and teach at this school. And if you ever need a grade one teacher.... 64

Dayna Artis


The secret of joy in work is contained in one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it. (Pearl Buck) Be enthusiastic as a leader - you can't light a fire with a wet match! (Author Unknown)


John, I have a distinct memory of creating worksheets for my siblings when I was a very young girl. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a teacher. It is a significant part of the way I define myself. Keeping an open mind, I kept my academic options open to become a child psychiatrist or pediatrician, but I always came back to the desire to be an educator, a teacher of children. I was fortunate to realize my goal and teach for the Calgary Board of Education for 11 years. My priorities shifted when I opted to be home for our family. During that time I kept my hand in teaching by tutoring countless students in reading and math and then added in part-time preschool as our kids entered the formal education system. The years flew by and I was ready to return to a fulltime teaching position. I organized the paper work, submitted my references and waited anxiously for a response from the Calgary Board. Weeks went by and then a short, coldly worded letter arrived in the mail. My application would not be considered any further. There would be no interview, no opportunity to go on the sub list. In short, I was devastated. I finally decided to enquire further as to the reason for my rejection and eventually received a confidential letter explaining that I was "out of date" and needed to return to university for two years to upgrade my

teaching skills. A lot of positive talk later, now doubting my skills and capabilities, I finally decided to explore the possibility of teaching for another school board and submitted my application to Rocky View. A week later I was signing papers to go on the substitute list with the positive comment that "positions come available all the time." I was stunned to arrive home one day to hear a message that John Murphy, at Crossfield Elementary, was interviewing teachers for a kindergarten position and, if I was interested, would I please call back. I know I was incredibly nervous during the interview and afterwards I kept thinking of things I should have said, silently berating myself for missed opportunities. I also remember feeling so grateful when John said, "This is your opportunity to brag about yourself. Don't underestimate your abilities and try to be modest. Let us know what you can do." Were there any better words for a adult woman, out of the "formal" system for years and low on self-confidence, to hear? I don't think so. I left the school repeating, "Please, please, PLEASE, let me get this job!" When the job offer arrived the next afternoon, I was dancing around the kitchen, this time with tears for a very different reason. The saying, "When one door closes, another door opens" can feel somewhat like


a platitude when you're repeating it to yourself to boost your confidence. For me, what a door it was! John gave me back my sense of self, the heart of who I am, a teacher. Jan Laubman


Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish. Sam Walton

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. Winston Churchill


In recognition of your valuable contribution of kindness and caring to the students and staff of Nose Creek Elementary School. Loukas Papaioannou


John, I knew I was in for something quite extraordinary as soon as you appeared at my previous school to welcome me as your new assistant principal the very next day after I accepted the offer. I was floored and felt honored that you would take time out of your busy day to do such a thing. I soon learned that I would be seeing much more of this at Nose Creek! At that time I was very anxious to see the new school I would be working in, so a couple of days after you visited me, I stopped in. Again, I was surprised at the palpable feelings of warmth and welcome I received. There was an atmosphere of casual yet purposeful engagement as students and adults sat together working and reading in small groups, some at horseshoe tables in the hallways, some on couches, some at computers. Several students said hello to me in the hallway, one even held the door open, the teachers appeared happy and non-stressed. Donna and Cindy in the office were amazingly friendly and Neil took me around to introduce me to some of the staff because you were out for a few minutes (golfingrelated? ha ha). As I walked under the banner proclaiming "Enter with a Happy Heart", I felt an enveloping atmosphere of acceptance, caring and respect that I had honestly not experienced so vividly in any other school (and I had been in about 200 throughout three different provinces!)

I wondered how this had come to be, how it was playing out in teaching and learning. I was already intrigued about you and your leadership style, especially knowing this must be the guiding force behind it all. John, every day I continue to learn through your guiding force as a charismatic leader and how/why it resonates in such incredibly unique and powerful ways. I have come to understand that although the elements of your leadership indeed reflect what current research says (along with all the related buzz words that go with it), the true essence of your power to touch and move others, lies in who you are as a person. It is such a privilege to work with you and to learn from you, to engage in stimulating conversations every day, to hear your stories and to dialogue about their application to pedagogy and to life, to appreciate your approach to problem solving and facilitation that always gives dignity to the people involved. Your interviewing process is second to none (!) as you somehow intuitively probe in a way that allows that person to really show who he/she is, and simultaneously inspire them. I know you met with over 70 applicants when you opened your first new school, and I would lay bets that not one of the unselected candidates left with a residual feeling of failure in themselves or the gifts they offer. There are far too many examples that show the depth and impact of



your character and leadership to touch on here, so I'll simply go back to the beginning again - to my first staff meeting at Nose Creek on the first day of school that September, when to my surprise, you postponed it at the last minute - the reason was because you felt it was important to personally drive a frightened non-English speaking child home to his family. Even more significantly, I saw that every single staff member just smiled when this happened, they "got it", they understood with no hesitation, and they took it in stride. "Wow", I thought to myself, "something quite amazing is happening here". I had landed with a remarkable leader and therefore in a remarkable place. My learning curve went straight up and even now three years later, continues to be somewhere out there, 'way off the graph. John, you are a true leader in every sense of the word. We talk a lot about dichotomies, I guess the most significant one for me at this point is around beginnings and endings; I began working with you towards the end of my career - yet it's not an ending because who knows where the ripples of your mentoring will go. I am proud and honored to have you in my life as a mentor, as a colleague and as a friend. Thank you. Diane

Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, a space for reflection, and a push in the right direction. John Crosby

What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is within us out into the world, miracles happen. Henry David Thoreau


John, your leadership is like the lighthouse's beacon of light. Artwork by Nose Creek students

His high endeavors are an inward light that makes the path before him always bright. William Wordsworth

It is not only a matter of looking; it is a matter of being drawn into the individual work of art, of realizing it has been made by a real human being, and trying to discover the secret of its creation. Ruth Whitman


Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining - they just shine.

Thanks for letting us explore, especially when things get messy! Wendy

Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love. Claude Monet

Mr Murphy, we love you!!

In times of change, learners inherit the Earth while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. Eric Hoffer

To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children ...... .........this is to have succeeded. Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Great Mr. Murphy


Mr. Murphy you have a warm heart You are kind, thoughtful and you are as sweet as a tart You think of great things And the school thinks you are one of the kings You made this place a great school And that's one of the reasons that makes you cool! Mr. Murphy you have amazing creativity That's why this school has great activities You are a great principal And they say you are invincible So have no fear Because Mr. Murphy is here You are the best And nothing like the rest Mr. Murphy you are the greatest of them all Out of the big and the small! Luca (grade 4)

The Road Not Taken Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;


Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim Because it was grassy and wanted wear, Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I marked the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence; Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Robert Frost 97


When I pray, I pray for all living things. When I thank, I thank for everything. Author Unknown

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