Category Archives: Administrator Reflections

Reflections of John’s Work by Administrators and Teachers


 “John Perricone is inspiration, motivation, and celebration all wrapped up in a package that is one of the best gifts that you can give your teachers. In this day and age when teachers feel so challenged by circumstances, John has the ability to help them reconnect with their love of children and their love of learning. Using humor, personal stories from his own career and research, Mr. Perricone provides a compelling case for elevating the mission of teaching to its highest level. John presented to our faculty in January of 2017. I brought him back as a surprise in June. The teachers were thrilled, and once again, John had them completely captivated the entire time. Mindset and culture are difficult aspects of an organization to touch in just two hours, but Mr. Perricone has definitely made his indelible mark on TASD.”
Heather McPherson  Superintendent, Tunkhannock Area School District
heather.mcpherson@tasd.net                     570-836-3111 x 1000

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While attending today’s Personal Development Day at our first day of school, I had the distinct honor of meeting  Mr. John Perricone!  Mr. Perricone is a keynote speaker, educational consultant, reknowned author, and an exceptional and brilliant human being, and I’m a better man for having heard him today!
Blaine Geyer          Bellmawr, New Jersey            September 2016

9/2/16
“If you are seeking to inspire your staff not only about teaching, but about life, then John Perricone is the perfect keynote speaker. His message touches the heart and uplifts the soul. His words of wisdom helped so many of my staff regain their perspective on why they chose to become teachers. He uses his oratory gifts to reaffirm the importance and intrinsic value of educators and the essential contributions they make to the greater good. John left an indelible impression on our school district and his impact will be felt for many years to come. I have never heard so many positive comments from my staff after an Opening Day Convocation. I would not hesitate to recommend John to come and share his unique reflections on how to be inspired to teach joyfully every day and live a fulfilled life to any group of educators. His keynote address was not only inspiring — it was life changing. He is awesome!”
Dr. Kathleen A. Mooney
Superintendent, Port Washington UFSD
kmooney@portnet.org      516-767-5005

Mr. Perricone,
Although it has been several weeks since you were the keynote speaker at Evergreen Mill Elementary School, the memory of your presentation is still vivid and evident throughout our building. Your words inspired, motivated, and touched people’s hearts. You are an amazing motivational speaker! You have our deepest appreciation for having served as a teacher. On behalf of Evergreen Mill Elementary School, thank you for a most memorable presentation and we so look forward to seeing you again next year for your secondary address.
Michael Pellegrino, Principal, Evergreen Mill Elementary School
Leesburg, Virginia        Michael.Pellegrino@lcps.org    703-606-1146

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Mr. Perricone,

I was the teacher that introduced myself before your keynote.

I want you to know that your presentation has rekindled in me a love, appreciation, and gratitude towards my profession. My Dad passed away in the arms of myself, my sister Linda, and my brother Steve on January 8th of this year. We spoke everyday — he was my best friend, counselor, cheerleader, comedic relief, and so much more.

Since his passing, I’ve had (and still am having) a very difficult time. I know one of my Dad’s proudest moments was the day I became a teacher. Your presentation helped redirect my sadness and reminded me how much my Dad would want me to embrace life and cherish my profession. Thank you for helping me. I feel like a different person. Thank you for bringing so much light to my life and our entire district.

Barb VanDerwarker, Queensbury Schools


Mr. Perricone,
“Your presentation to our faculty and staff at “Opening Day” was outstanding!  You touched our minds and more importantly our hearts with your powerful message and insightful address.  It was the perfect start to our school year!”
Dr. Douglas Huntley, Superintendent
Queensbury Union Free School District
dhuntley@queensburyschool.org             518-824-5602

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John,
I wanted to write to share my thoughts on your visit to Evergreen Mill this week. I am currently a special education teacher and am pursuing a master’s degree in Educational Leadership. As part of the program I am required to complete an internship. Upon completion of each relevant activity, we are to reflect on our experiences to include it’s impact on our development as leaders. You are the epitome of what I strive to be each day and so desire for my future family of teachers to be. While your presentation was unforgettable, I wanted to be sure to document your visit not only as a reminder for myself as I’m going through this program as to why I do what I do, but also as a reminder to schedule you as a speaker in the first building I have the opportunity to be an instructional leader Thank you again for your enlightening presentation. I am so excited for the upcoming school year!
Jessica Hoefs, Learning Specialist    Evergreen Mill Elementary School

“What a great way to begin a new school year! John did a fabulous job in addressing our consortium of eight schools here in Oklahoma. His delivery is amazing, as he speaks with such passion and a love for education. If you believe educating the whole child starts with developing relationships with students, you will want John Perricone to speak to your staff.”
Jerry McCormick, Superintendent       Maud Public Schools
Maud, OKlahoma          jmccormick@maud.k12.ok.us      (919) 916-6629

“Wow!” would be just one word of many that I would use to describe a recent teacher in-service with guest speaker, John Perricone.
Mr. Perricone provided an uplifting and thought- provoking experience for all of us in attendance — so much so, that my colleagues and I spoke of him and and what he imparted days after the in-service had passed. His ability to mix humor with a seriousness tone, while raising the bar for what we can all aspire to be as teachers was unprecedented in my experience, and his address kept us all riveted and totally invested in what he had to say from beginning to end. We left his address with a renewed sense of purpose for our calling as educators. Thank you so much, Mr. Perricone!
Thea Bierman, 2nd Grade Teacher
Jim Thorpe School District

“You have a gift and it is so wonderful that you are able to impact, influence, and uplift so many with your words, thoughts, experiences, and actions. So blessed to have come in contact with such a sincere and caring educator! Keep up the beautiful work that you are doing in this world!”
All the best my friend,
Rob Gasparello, Principal Sharpstown High School, Houston, Texas

Hello, Mr. Perricone,
I just wanted to thank you for your presentation yesterday. How I wish it was recorded! What you said spoke to the fighter in me I thought was dead and gone. Today I went back to my class in a new way, remembering the fun I used to have. I started singing to the kids again and even hit the gym after school for the first time since September! Most importantly, I heard someone speaking a message I rarely hear, that we were called to accomplish something special in our lives as teachers, and it’s a blessing to be an educator and a parent, as hard as it is. Thank you for the reminder.
Fondly,
Kim Weise

John’s presentations are, in a word, inviting. Namely they are from the outset and throughout, a sincere invitation for each of us to embrace the opportunity to reflect on why we do what we do, and to move ourselves beyond the barriers of our thinking related to our life and professional situation into spaces that inspire pragmatic re-considerations of what we do in our classrooms, as members of our professional communities, and in our lives as committed educators, never failing to leave us with renewed optimism.
Again and again, this is the outcome of his visits. And they are just that, visits. They start with his personal greeting at the door, continue with his self-effacing manner and grounded engagement with those in attendance, and conclude roughly an hour later as inspiring entreaty to (re)invest ourselves in the ideas that made us want to teach in the first place, underscoring his wish for us to continue the conversation with him, with each other, and beyond, as we filter back into our own life places.
I’ve known John for some time. I’ve read his book. We’ve shared many conversations. I’ve watched him teach. And yet hearing him speak for the first time at Penn State opened yet another vista for me to think through who I am as an educator and powerfully rekindle the passion behind all I am trying to do in that role. In a word, he re-frames — and reclaims – teaching as art and artistry, providing a reason to believe in it and ourselves once again. Inspirational isn’t a strong enough word to describe what he does. Rather, life-affirming gets closer to the mark.
C. Michael Elavsky, Ph.D., Associate Professor
College of Communications
The Pennsylvania State University              115 Carnegie Building
University Park, Pennsylvania     16802      814-865-2444

Mr. Perricone,
I am in my 20th year of public school teaching in Eastern Pennsylvania. I have taught in five school districts from the Philadelphia area to the Poconos. I have endured countless mandatory in-service days. Your presentation at the Jim Thorpe Area School District on March 9, 2016 was the first one that spoke to me, and provided me with something I can really use…not just in teaching, but in life. Thank you so much, my friend. Sho-Shin!
Mr. Eric P. Flowers, M. Mus. Ed.
Director Of Bands  – Jim Thorpe Area School District, Jim Thorpe, PA

John Perricone was treated to a standing ovation from all 200 teachers in attendance at our Central South Zone Conference at SUNY Cortland. The profound message that he delivered on the art of teaching (through heartwarming stories and personal anecdotes) combined with razor-sharp wit and humor, made for an experience that had every teacher excited to return to their classrooms with renewed vigor and insight!
Julie Dietrich, Central South Zone President  NYS AHPERD
607 656-4761              JDietrich@hcs.stier.org

We wanted to help our teachers re-energize themselves after a good, but exhausting first quarter of the school year. Teaching takes so much energy, and even the most dedicated of our teachers needs help to re-channel the positive energy within each of us. John Perricone’s message to our staff was not only profoundly inspirational, it was personal for each of us and him. His focus on the drive and passion that brought each of us to become teachers re-enforced to our staff that it truly is the everyday moments working with, and the relationships developed with, our students that is our true reward as teachers. It’s not the money, fame, or power that brings satisfaction for teachers. It is something much deeper and more profound. We are the richest people in the world because we get to experience teaching young people every day. That is what defines us. John brought us back to why we chose this profession and the satisfaction we receive through it. It was the message we needed, and John presented it with such energy and kindness. There was a bounce in people’s step on a day that traditionally has had less energy. We thank John for helping to show us we really are excited and fortunate that today and tomorrow we get to teach.
Jeff Gustason, Principal
Linn-Mar High School in Marion, Iowa
jgustason@linnmar.k12.ia.us     (319) 447-3041

“John Perricone’s captivating presentation reminds us all why we entered the education field. As a thirty-one year veteran of the classroom, he understands the inherent power in our day-to-day interactions with our students. Through story-telling, parables, and real-life examples, he takes the audience on an indelible journey filled with reminders of what is truly important — not only in education, but in life as a whole. I can’t wait to bring him back to my school for an encore.”
CHARLES OGUNDIMU, Ph.D., Principal
Frederick Douglass Academy VI High School
Far Rockaway, New York

cogundi@schools.nyc.gov      (718) 471-2154

John’s visit was so timely for Arlington amidst the current negativity surrounding public education and the politicization of issues surrounding student growth and learning. He was a breath of fresh air, helping us to find and maintain our philosophical compass as educators. John’s message was uplifting, heartfelt and real, setting the perfect tone for the start of school year and leaving us all with lessons for teaching and life.
Brendan Lyons, Ed. D., Superintendent of Schools
Arlington Central School District
144 Todd Hill Road LaGrangeville, NY 12540
845-486-4460

John,
You may recall, I’m the Arlington teacher with 45 years in teaching whose book you signed. I wanted to thank you for an absolutely amazing and inspiring first day of school! During your talk, I found myself nodding in affirmation of everything you said, identifying with your passion for what you do, and thinking, “Finally — someone who sees the big picture!” Keep the faith! And thank you so very much!
Eric Buergers, Arlington High School
English Department    ebuergers@acsdyn.org

Hi Mr. Perricone,
I just wanted to again thank you for your incredibly insightful and impassioned message that you so graciously shared with the Glens Falls staff today. Everything you said resonated with me and my educational philosophy on a profound level. Please know that I will be a better teacher, colleague, and person for having been in your class (even if for just one morning.)
What you do every day truly matters on a profound level. It was an honor meeting you.
Sincerely,
Rob Manning, 7th Grade ELA Glens Falls Middle School

Mr. Perricone,
Your presentation was absolutely fantastic and you hit a home run with our staff with many echoing the sentiment that you were by far the best opening day speaker they had ever experienced! You so embodied and conveyed a message we’ve been emphasizing in our district –that of the importance of making meaningful connections with our students, and in so doing, creating the very best environment in which learning can take place. I don’t know that we could have envisioned a better start to our year! Thank you so very much!
Paul Jenkins, Superintendent of Glens Falls Schools
Glens Falls, New York
pjenkins@gfsd.org      (518-792-2122)

 

Mr. Perricone,
I cannot imagine a better start to our new year! Your presentation was simply outstanding and my office has been nothing but a steady stream of teachers coming to thank me for bringing you here. Thank you for the gift of your inspiration — I’ll be telling many other administrators about your impassioned and phenomenal work!
 
Joanne Blocker, Director of Academics
Gateway Regional School District
Huntington, MA       (413) 685-1313
jblocker@grsd.org

[this is an internal memo, that was shared with me]

Melissa,
Thank you so much for the wonderful opportunity to be inspired by John Perricone this morning! He was by far the best speaker we have ever had in my 18 years here, and I believe did wonders for morale! In a time when government policies and the beliefs of a few top state administrators are clearly trying to do away with public education, I want you to know how much we appreciate your constant support of our daily efforts to provide meaningful and enjoyable educational experiences for our students. I speak for myself and my colleagues when I say that your continual guidance, constant smile, and gracious leadership make Lynbrook a wonderful place to work! Thank you again for everything you do for us!
Jackie Miller
Grade Three Teacher, Waverly Park School

Mr. Perricone,
I cannot begin to express my gratitude for what you did to launch our new school year! Your message struck a universal chord in every staff member I’ve spoken to and for everyone who searched me out (both in person and in emails) to thank me for bringing you to Woodstock. The administrative staff conccured that they just couldn’t believe that your address spoke to every facet of our collective mission and vision for our district. Our teachers are on fire in anticipation of meeting their new students, and we thank you for reigniting the spark that resides in each and every one of us. You reminded us of our deepest mission as educators, and in so doing brought out the best in us. We so look forward to having you back for your secondary address next year!
God Bless you my friend,
Paul Gamache, Principal, Woodstock Middle School
Woodstock, Connecticut
gamachep@woodstockschools.net         (774) 239-0017

I want to wholeheartedly thank John Perricone for presenting to our entire staff during our first in-service day for the 2015-2016 school year. His message was profoundly inspirational and began our year on a very high note. His style is heartfelt and humorous. He held our staffs’ attention from the beginning to the end of his presentation.
We will remember “Sho-Shin” (cherish your beginner’s mind) by remembering each day that, “this is the first day I have taught, and it may be my last. I will teach today as though I will never have the opportunity again.” I believe without question that those who were present will remember and practice this philosophy in their classrooms. Many of my staff commented that in light of Mr. Perricone’s presentation, that they felt renewed and were indeed very excited to begin the new year.
Donald Wismar, Executive Director, and Shelly Carson, Director of Special Education
Seneca Highlands Intermediate Unit 9

Mr. John Perricone offered a poignant, meaningful and profoundly inspiring message to begin our new school year.  His passion for the profession and compassion for students touched our staff and provided purpose for what we do on a daily basis. He was the perfect presence at a time in New York when political mandates are attempting to strip the power of the teacher in the classroom. The message is simple: everyone who touches the life of a child, touches the life of generations to come! We were reminded we have the best jobs in the world! Thank you, John!

Dr. Melissa Burack, Superintendent of Lynbrook Schools
Lynbrook, New York
MBurak@lynbrook.k12.ny.us            (516) 887-0253

Mr. Perricone,
Wednesday was simply outstanding! Every one of my teachers thanked me over and over for starting the year off with your presentation. Many even said that it was the best start up to the year they had ever had! Everyone was smiling and so positive; it was so nice to see. Your presentation touched everyone in the audience and by the end of the evening, all of the principals were communicating about the positive responses that we all received from faculty members. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I will always remember to start each day like this is the first time and the last time I will be the principal of Quest Elementary School! Sho-Shin!
Many, many thanks from the Viera feeder chain schools: Quest Elementary, Suntree Elementary, Longleaf Elementary, Williams Elementary, Kennedy Middle School, and Viera High School.
Ellie Leah, Principal at Quest Elementary School
Vidalia Florida

Lea.Elia@Brevardschools.org       (321) 242-1411)

“John Perricone is just what our staff needed! He is uplifting in a time when teachers feel beleaguered under the weight of new initiatives, state testing, mandates and quite frankly — burnout. Before hearing him speak, I wasn’t sure how our teachers would react to Mr. Perricone, but I can state unequivocally that by his message our staff was not only revitalized, but he brought us all together as a school community with a unified sense of mission and purpose. You will not regret bringing this man to your school. He is truly an inspiration for educators everywhere.”
Stephanie Bennett, Principal
Cascade Middle School Bend-LaPine School District
Bend, Oregon
steph.bennett@bend.k12.or.us             541-355-7002

“You have a friend in me for life! It’s amazing that I found you via the internet a year ago with the vision of having you as a keynote…and dreams do come true. I just knew from the moment I read your reviews that you were the absolute right person for North Bellmore! I was truly inspired by you and find you to be one of the most authentic and life-giving human beings I have had the pleasure of meeting. So many faculty members, administrators, staff and Board members have told me that your presentation was profoundly inspiring! You captured the mission and core values of the district and reminded all the “teachers” (every adult in the district) of their purpose and of the value of the work they do each day. Your presentation is one that captures the true essence of humanity in terms of our purpose – after all, is there anything more significant in life that lifting up another human being so that he or she can take the next step of the journey? I think that all people need someone like John Perricone in their life as a reminder that who we are to others is what matters in the end – what could be more significant? Because of what he shared, North Bellmore has now embarked on an introspective journey that can only enhance the culture of our schools. You have found a new friend and me and countless numbers of my staff who have never been so renewed and excited to get in to their classrooms and make a significant difference in the lives of the young people they’ve been called to serve. A million thanks!”
Marie Testa, Superintendent of North Bellmore UFSD
Bellmore, New York

mtesta@northbellmoreschools.org             516-992-3000 x3

“John Perricone speaks to the heart of who we are as educators. He connects to teachers and staff in a way that reignites the passion we all feel for the students we serve. John’s message defines and validates the incredibly challenging responsibility we have to be the best for our students every day. He was just what our staff needed and we are grateful that he was able to be a part of our annual conference. I whole-heartedly recommend him to others seeking to inspire and motivate educators.”
Jill Walker, M. ED., Executive Director of Staff Development
Leander ISD in 
Leander, Texas         Jill.Walker@leanderisd.org               512-570-0208

John Perricone  brought his thirty-one years of classroom experience and love of teaching to life for our staff!  His words were heartfelt and  and he motivated our staff to make a personal and soulful connection with their students, thereby creating the very best environment in which they can learn. We so look forward to having him speak to our staff again in the very near future.
Paul E. Nelson, Ph.D., Superintendent
Concordia Parish Schools
4358 Highway 84 West  Vidalia, LA   71373
318-336-4226

Dear Mr. Perricone,
“Knowing you as my teacher over 30 years ago, I was very confident that when I hired you, we’d have a good in-service day. I remembered your enthusiasm, your wit, and your passion when you taught me all those years ago. What I did not expect is that our staff would be changed forever by your talk. Every high school student you have touched in Maine- Endwell has been changed by you, but I did not expect that spending two hours with us as a staff at SMCS would effect the change that it has in adults who did not know you. The culture of our school is changing now! For the first time in my 26 years in schools, after your talk, I heard comments such as “Best in-service ever!”, “Has it been two hours already? I didn’t want him to stop!” and “We really needed to hear that.” Your talk is a combination of inspiration, motivation, real-life experience in “the trenches” and, of course, uncanny comedic timing. We so needed to laugh together as a faculty, and did we ever. But, unlike most In-service days, we left with a tangible, LASTING goal: Sho-Shin (cherishing our beginner’s mind so we are never stale in our teaching) — which renewed and revitalized every one of us. Mr. Perricone, the poster is now in all of our classrooms and it’s in all of our lives now, thanks to you. You were sent to us for a reason, and we will not let you down! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Lori O. Favela, Ed.S.  Academic Dean, Middle School
St. Michael Catholic School of Houston Texas
lfavela@stmichaelcs.org              713-621-6847, x3311

“Your message hit a grand slam! Our staff was so thoroughly impressed and inspired by what you shared with us in your Keynote address “Why Am I a Teacher?: Developing a Philosophical Identity”. They can’t quit talking about how great of a job you did. We even talked about you last night in our Board Meeting under the “What is right” section. Thanks so much for coming and sharing with us and know that I truly consider you a friend. We are already looking at having you back.”
Gary Brogan, Superintendent of Bear Lake ISD
Paris, Idaho

gbrogan@blsd.net           208-945-2891

“It is with great pleasure that I recommend Mr. Perricone to speak at your school or any educational forum. He has moved our staff in ways that I have not seen in my 31 years in our school district. I am usually reluctant to have someone come to speak to our staff if I had not previously seen him/her in person. However, based on the testimonials I read on his website, I felt confident it would be worth the risk. There was no risk! At the end of his one hour and forty-five minute presentation, where he challenged our staff to reflect on their personal philosophy about education; and motivated and inspired them to realize how lucky they were to be in a career where they can have a positive influence on the lives of youth every day, he received a standing ovation. My overall response was simply…he delivered! For days and weeks after his presentation, staff still thanks me for bringing him to Phillipsburg. It was truly a positive experience, and we were honored to have him.”

Dr. Marian Trapani, Director of Planning, Research and Evaluation,
Phillipsburg School District,  Phillipsburg New Jersey,
Trapani.Marian@pburgsd.net                 908-213-2610


“John Perricone was the most highly rated keynote speaker ever in our school district. His message of compassion, reflection and appreciation of our profession was exactly what we needed at this trying time in the history of education. Thank you, John!.”

John Lysko, Superintendent, Township of Ocean Schools,
Oakhurst, New Jersey        jlysko@ocean.k12.nj.us                 732-531-5600 (ext.3220)