A couple weeks ago I returned to Columbine High for another assembly. The students and teachers are awesome! Lots of great energy in the gym! (At the end a great teacher leads them all, full on… “We are….” then the students go…. “COLUMBINE”, back and forth, building energy until you would think the roofs coming off the gymnasium.)
After the assembly Frank DeAngeles and I sat in his office awhile talking about what has transpired in the years since the tragedy.
Here’s what makes Frank an awesome principal:
1. He is still there. Since the tragedy he has been there to be the stability for the Columbine family. Could’ve left… sure, but he didn’t.
2. He has a purpose (helping the kids) that is bigger than his personality, Was it hard on him personally? Of Course, but there was a purpose – to hold his school together. (He committed himself to stay at Columbine at least until those in kindergarteners at the time, 13 years ago, would graduate from high school.)
3. He loves the kids at his school (and tells them!)
4. He leads firmly but from his heart. Truly a servant leader.
5. A great role model. Emotionally honest. I will never forget Frank being able to shed a couple tears in front of the students. That is what every stoic adolescent male can use more of, a male role model that is emotionally honest. By his example, he gives them permission to feel their feelings and not repress them.
6. His willingness to empower others. The kids at his school respect him and he respects them.
Frank DeAngeles has truly gone forward, one day at a time, with integrity, perseverance, a huge heart, a great sense of humor, and a deep sense of purpose…. that is why he is an inspiration to me!