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C'est la Z

A couple of things I learned from Danny Jaye

I got an email from my good friend and mentor this weekend. Danny Jaye, after 45 years, is finally retiring for real.

Danny, the Maestro, or Doc, as we sometimes called him spent most of his career at Stuyvesant. First as a math teacher, then math chair. Danny also spent time as the director of the Bergen Academies and his last few years as the Chief Academic Officer at Solomon Schecter in Bergen.

Danny's always been a master teacher - back in the day, he managed to teach Calculus to my brother - no small feat and as a department and school leader, he has a great eye for collecting and developing talent. Over the years, Danny's influenced a number people who've gone on to be education leaders of one form or another.

For me, Danny was and continues to be a great mentor. I can't tell you how much I learned - much of it on our 5:00am bike rides from Stuy up to the GW bridge and back.

Far too much to share here but let me drop a couple of thoughts:

It doesn't cost anything to be nice.

and the related:

It's easy to be nice on a good day.

The former talking about treating everyone with respect regardless of station and the latter a reminder not to forget it on a bad day. Also a valuable reminder when sizing up new school leaders.

We'd spend hours discussing class, departmental, and school strategies. How to develop a program with safety nets, how to separate real value from the hypes and how to always remember that it's the student first and the big picture, not just our little corner of the world.

It feels weird for me to know that my go to guy on Ed stuff is no longer working and is now moving towards a life of leisure.

It doesn't change anything other than a reminder to me that I'm now one of the more senior people in my circles and that now Danny can mock me for having to go in to the office every day.

So, here's to you Danny – one of the best education people out there.

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