Thursday, May 19, 2005


So I thought I would officially wecome all visitors to my fabulous new site....named after one of the cut songs from Follies actually. Welcome to all my freinds and anyone else...i though I would start by posting a small speech I gave recently, celebrating a great principal I once had.

From a Former Kelsey Student
Mr. MacLeod’s retirement celebration
A Tribute to a Very Special Principal Who Made a Difference in My Life

Education is about pioneering. It always has been , and it always will be. Pioneering is not easy, it’s full of potholes and pitfalls. It’s full of fear, and anger, goodness knows what else. Pioneering is not about the status quo, and it’s not about what’s deemed politically correct, or proper. Pioneering is about breaking new ground, unveiling new horizons, and highlighting dormant truths.
These are grand principles, lofty ideals, ones that you can’t just throw around. Allan MacLeod certainly doesn’t do that. A case could be made that Mr. MacLeod is an archetypal pioneer, and a true renaissance man. But I don’t have to make that case, you already know it, that’s why you’re all here.

Mr. Macleod, I just wanted you to know that I knew it. Not just me but all of your students. Maybe they’re not telling you that everyday, and maybe they’re only complaining to you about how busy the testing centre is these days, but they know it. I promise you.

Mr. MacLeod, in a society of raging mediocrity, and staggering complacency, you stand out, you confound the realities. As an educational ground breaker, and above all a very decent human being.

This won’t be long; but I do wish to share a small story. When I arrived at Kelsey, much was made of that fact that “Mr. MacLeod always picks up garbage in the hallways and he’s not in his office very much” For the remainder of the year I noticed that, yes, Mr. MacLeod was an exceptional janitor, and yes, he always seemed to be everywhere at once. I didn’t really give it another thought.
The following year I was the student council president and I had a lot more contact with Mr. MacLeod, and met with him regularly to discuss student issues, initiatives, and complaints. Towards the end of my second year I remember being in a meeting with Mr. MacLeod about something trivial (sorry for all those meetings about “Crazy Hat Day”) and I happened to notice that Mr. Macleod seemed to know everything that was going on around the school. He knew that Mr. Carr was having a problem with a student who was always late, and that some students in the dome were concerned that there was not enough study room, and that the band room always smelled of stale peanut butter and jam sandwiches, and that the art room was home to far too many wandering students, (myself included more than one occasion I’m sorry to say).

In any case I asked Mr. MacLeod how he knew so much about what was going on around the school, and he said “Why do you think I walk around so much with my dustpan and brush? It’s certainly not because I don’t do enough of it at home.”
It was in that moment that I realized that with the simple act of sweeping up some wayward dirt, Mr. MacLeod had his finger on the pulse of the whole school, of the body politic so to speak. Never before has such a simple job yielded such vast rewards.
I think of Mr. MacLeod and his broom of truth often, and I think that it’s a fantastic allegory for quiet leadership, and silent understanding.

Mr. MacLeod you created a school unlike any other, a school that breeds self motivation, that taught us that we had to start depending on ourselves. Something that made having to buy groceries and pay bills that much easier; something that prepared us to meet the world and all it’s people.

Mr. MacLeod, I’m sorry that I couldn’t get away from spring school at Mcgill to be here today but, from a former student thank you so very much. Best wishes in the years ahead, Happy Golfing

Yours truly,
Ashley Daniel Foot