by Tony Zipple, Bingham Fellows Class of 2012 –
When I started our Bingham Fellows adventure, I had my reservations about our ability to actually get a group of projects done in the time that we had available. Gathering a group of diverse and busy professionals and educating us, organizing us, and aligning us around a topic like “engaging the community to inspire student achievement” is an enormous challenge. I have been amazed at how far we have come… and how quickly we have done it.
Our meeting on June 21st felt like a real watershed. For the first time, I was able to see all of the projects taking shape. It was rewarding to hear the results of the planning that our varied workgroups have been doing during the past few months. The range of projects and the smarts behind them was impressive. Most important, from my perspective, was our opportunity to present to Superintendent Hargens, Dewey Hensley, and Carol Montgomery. Their feedback was direct and helpful and their enthusiasm for our work indicates that we have a valuable and practical set of proposals for JCPS. It says a lot when the senior leadership at JCPS is ready to partner with us.
I have participated on many project teams over the years and some of them have been less successful that ours. I think that a lot of our success is due to the structure that Cynthia and the Leadership Louisville team has given us. In addition, everyone in the class has been so open and collaborative. As a new resident of Louisville, I feel fortunate to have a group of colleagues who are so dedicated and mission focused (not to mention friendly).
The projects are coming together and all of our planning and work seems to be paying off. I can actually begin to imagine launch day for the projects and visualize the difference that they will make in our community. It’s really exciting.