Polina had been the school’s principal and math teacher for forty years. She was known for her discipline; the kids feared her, as did the adults. She was an intimidating woman. She was also my “girlfriend”: Moya Padrooha.Read More
For the past ten years it’s been my mission to help kids succeed - it’s taken me from the baseball field to the Kindergarten classroom - from Portland, Maine to Ukraine - from Bowdoin College to Portland Public Schools.
And this is what I’ve come to believe-
Schools should be at the centers of our communities- where kids develop strong relationships with caring adults; where their talents are discovered; and where they learn about the world around them!Read More
I climbed the big concrete steps one after another, dripping sweat, unsure of what I’d find at the top. I’d been walking for a while and my mind was racing. It felt like the first day of school, like the first day of anything. It was a blazing hot day, but the heat was familiar. I had played ball many times in weather like this, especially in Iowa. But I was far from the cornfields of the Midwest now. I was in a place I’d never been before, a place I’d never dreamed I’d be. I was in Ukraine.Read More
“Imagine a world where the vast majority of kids wake up inspired to go to school, feel safe and engaged while they are there, and leave each day feeling like they contributed to something greater than themselves.”
Is this a world you would like to live in? If so, would you like to know how to get there?Read More
The crowd of a few thousand erupt with cheer. I mutter to myself and begin the long walk back to the dugout. As I walk, they narrate my stride. Right, left, right, left! In sync with my every step. Finally, I reach the lip of the dugout after the longest thirty seconds of my life. And for their final, miserable act? I know what’s coming-, “Sit down!” they scream.
Striking out was never fun, but in Bluefield, West Virginia, it was a whole new level of humiliation.Read More
Baseball was everything, my identity was defined by it - it is what I did. When I wasn’t playing, I was training for it. Everyday of the week it was baseball, and now it was gone.Read More
I am nervous; palms sweaty, knees shaking, mouth dry. My nine year old mind is racing as I stand here, knees bent, in my blue and white Coastal Silkscreen uniform, stirrup socks, and plastic cleats.
Here comes the pitch. I gulp and take a giant swing. I hit the ball, only by definition is it a hit, it is pathetic. My hands sting and I watch the ball slowly bounce in the pitcher’s direction. Disappointed, I slowly jog out of the batter’s box and mope down the line.
The pitcher picks up the ball, but wait! He fumbles it, and it falls back to the grass. I start sprinting. It’s going to be close. Again, he picks it up and then throws. “Out!” the umpire yells. It’s a bang-bang play. I could have been safe, I think as I jog back to the dugout. It’s the third out and my teammates hustle to their positions but coach stops me...Read More
Simon presents at our Lift360 Springboard Session on Friday, February 19th.Read More