Powerful Potential of Parent(s): A Child's First, Best and Only Lifelong Teacher

This handbook lays out – in an easy to read format -- the positive influences (assets) that loving, caring parent(s) put into lives of children at every stage of life -- pregnancy, the pre-school years, K-12 years, college, and beyond. Each chapter ends with introspective questions.

Insight and recommendations draw upon the collective wisdom from research and the knowledge gained from 57 years of first-hand experiences with thousands of families. His roles include that of K-12 teacher, K-12 principal, superintendent, university lecturer of record, adjunct professor, educational consultant, mentor, and parent. He has been accorded many honors including the highly prestigious National Superintendent of the Year and has spoken throughout America and Canada on the powerful potential of parents: a child’s first, best, and only lifelong teacher.

His perspective is that the achievement gap among groups of students in America is a critical problem, that solutions require all stakeholders to become fully engaged, and that the role of parent(s) on the front lines of child development is a partnership imperative. Wakeful hours in home/neighborhood are 3.17 to 1.0 during K-12 school years. Adding the wakeful hours during the first four years of life in home/neighborhood, the ratio becomes 4.46 to 1.0. At stake is the future of these children and the competitiveness of American in the global marketplace.


The Adventures of BIG DOG: Troubles and Triumph

Story teaches children about patience, responsibility and reward

The story begins with two children playing with their neighbor’s large dog named BIG DOG.  A “dog wish” is placed deep into their minds and hearts.  Repeatedly, they plead with their dad and mom for their own dog at their own home, but the answer is always “No!”

When the neighbor’s dog comes to their house for a two-day stay, the children are delighted.  They are filled with hope that the dog’s visit will turn the “No!” into a “Yes!”  Within minutes of BIG DOG’s arrival, troubles show up too.  His good nature is never in doubt, but his habits and actions do not help the children’s cause.  Their hope for their very own dog dims as the troubles mount, but they do not give up.  One hour before BIG DOG is to return to his own house, he performs an extraordinary feat; a kind of miracle. 

The Minnetonka School Story 1971 - 1995

The Minnetonka school story is like a movie with a cast of thousands. Skipper students and all District 276 stakeholders bring unique personalities, ideas, energies, hopes, and dreams to the script of preparing youth for adulthood. The story line revolves around one high ideal: striving for excellence in teaching and learning. It includes no magic wand, no shining star, no outside benefactor, and no internal hero or heroine.

A Journey of Thanksgiving: Lifetime of Learning, Loving, Leading and Looking Back

My life story is an example of the American dream fulfilled.  Born in poverty, raised on a vegetable farm in southern Minnesota, encouraged by community (the “village”), and educated in public schools, I grew up with a strong sense of values, which were then applied in all aspects of my life. My chosen career was education, which opened the door to teaching and administration in six distinct settings: elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, district superintendent positions, higher education, and private business. 


Retirement Straight Talk: Stories and Wisdom from Educators

Retirement STRAIGHT Talk describes all stages of retirement from the initial whispers in the mind, to the raw emotions of major life change, to the choices, challenges, and commitments in the second half of life.  Addressed fully are the new beginnings and joy to be found in retirement and also issues of economic security, housing, relationships, health, continued caring for others, and spiritual well-being.  Over 300 retired educators share their wisdom through conversations which are instructive to all persons who want to navigate more thoughtfully toward – and through – their own retirement.  Each chapter ends with the author’s own story, helpful guidelines, and thoughtful questions exploring ongoing transitions in retirement.


Ten Lessons I've Learned About Investments

I hope these ten lessons will be instructive in your own investment experience.  Just as there are different teaching and learning styles in the classroom, there are many approaches to financial planning and investments.  I do not suggest herein one “best way” or one “best person” to follow.  Rather, certain lessons or principles have become much plainer to me – in retrospect, following retirement – which I share with you as a fellow educator and friend.  I also invite you to complete the pre-post “test” on the final page.


Grampa's Prayers for "Special Occasions"

My shortest and most frequent prayer is “Help” when I am in the midst of the multitude of human dilemmas.  On other special occasions, I write and/or say prayers that range from praise to petition and from joy to sorrow.  I marvel at prayers said by others that capture just what I want and need to say for myself.  However, I find that my own prayers compel me to admit my brokenness; they better enable me to receive forgiveness, acceptance, and encouragement that come from an all-knowing, ever-present, Almighty God who made me, continues to mold me, and loves me. 



Three Island Lake History

My name is “Three Island Lake”.  Earth people gave me this name for obvious reasons.  Their measurements say I am 235 acres in size, about a mile in width, and approximately 66 feet at my deepest points.  My life story begins about 16,000 years ago when in God’s own time a mile-deep glacier blanketed the Great Lakes area.  Its tremendous weight crushed rocks and pushed soil and sand, which created high hills and deep ravines.  Also left behind were shallow depressions for wet lands and wide holes of every design that filled with water as the ice receded and melted, creating what is called “lake country”.


Learning and Living: How Asset Building for Youth Can Unify a School’s Mission

Extensive research by the Search Institute of Minneapolis shows dramatically different behavior in children and youth when positive influences (developmental assets) are put into their lives.  The correlation is abundantly clear that healthy, positive choices go up and harmful, negative choices go down when adults in every setting consciously and deliberately reinforce developmental assets.

This book challenges schools to address the whole child: mind, body, and heart.  The mind learns knowledge and develops skills and abilities, which gives power to act, but it is the heart sets the direction and provides motivation to shape the future.