Work can be a very stressful and difficult part of day-to-day life. Many people feel overworked, dissatisfied in their job, and overall unfulfilled. It shouldn’t be like that. We spend, on average, about 39.2 hours a week working, that’s a lot of time to spend feeling miserable. Obviously, life isn’t all about work, we have families and loved ones and hobbies and that oh so tantalizing weekend. But it’s sad that this large chunk of our lives, for a lot of people, is the furthest thing from enjoyable.

Many of us fear the responsibilities that are associated with working with or over others. In leadership positions, a lot of people depend and rely on us in a number of different ways. It’s a responsibility that only a select few in society have the means, capability, and wherewithal to manage without completely crumbling under the weight of the responsibility. Schools, Local governments, hospitals have astronomical demands that need to be met not only by the people they serve but by the people in their employ. But this is not something we should fear, it’s this very thing: the ability to help others through our work that can fill us with some of the fulfillment we seek. We all know how rewarding it feels to help a friend move house on a whim.

We need to look no further than a Winnetonka High School principal, who’s recent achievements have been recognized and reward

Dr. Eric Johnson, principal of Winnetonka High School, has been recognized as Missouri’s principal of the year for 2020-21. Not only has he been recognized for his outstanding commitment to ensuring students achieve their best at the highest level, but he also remained committed to promoting and defending diversity and social justice training in schools across the state. It’s rare that people remain humble in the face of success, but Dr. Johnson seems to display a degree of humility and groundedness that is both refreshing and not often seen. He was chosen out of over 900 principals in the state. The magnitude of that cannot be understated.

In accepting his award, he states, “This is about you guys. I just have the privilege and honor to serve this assignment at Winnetonka High School.” The kind of love for work is not born out of cynicism. It is the commitment to serving and helping others, making sure needs are met and smiles are put on faces that give us the same kind of fulfillment Dr. Johnson has seemingly found in his work. We need more principals, bosses, and those in leadership positions like Dr. Johnson. Those who are truly committed to the people they serve, their hard work, filters down to the success of those very people. And if you think about it, these are the next generation of doctors, nurses, teachers, public defenders, researchers, writers and artists that are under their wing. Principals need to nurture them and, above all else, guarantee that everyone from all walks of life has the opportunity to achieve their very best. 

Hopefully, Dr. Johnson continues to make huge strides in the areas in which he is focusing and continues to improve the lives and education of all of his students and faculty. He has officially presented the award on the 8th of March during an annual MoASSP spring Conference.

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