‘The very best in all of us’: How one man led a faculty district via the pandemic

Lebanon County, Pa. – There aren’t any playbooks, no proprietor’s manuals, no consumer’s guides. In the case of a pandemic there isn’t any priority.

However by all accounts, the Cornwall-College college district has – and continues to – deal with the continued COVID-19 disaster higher than anybody might’ve hoped. The important thing to success for Lebanon County’s most prosperous college district has been diligence, cooperation and coordination.

In some ways, the novel coronavirus has examined a very powerful side of native public training – flexibility – prefer it has by no means been examined earlier than. However for educators within the Cornwall-Lebanon college district one of many unintentional outcomes from their administration of COVID-19 has been that they’ve discovered some issues about themselves.

Dr. Michael Robinson isn’t some superhero working within the shadowy background of the Cornwall-Lebanon College District. He shudders on the mere point out of the notion.

But when he had been, his tremendous powers can be management, delegation and humility.

A defining second

Robinson is Cornwall-Lebanon’s pandemic coordinator, a title that he didn’t ask for and one which he’s diligently attempting to politely return. Like several good supervisor, Robinson has surrounded himself with good folks, each a proper and an off-the-cuff pandemic group. They help him as a lot as he helps them.

“It’s defining moments like these that change the course of what’s to come back,” mentioned Robinson. “I don’t suppose it’s any totally different with any college system. If you’re on this enterprise lengthy sufficient you acknowledge moments in time. We discovered to adapt. We discovered to persevere. I watched the perseverance every day. Every college district needed to handle it (COVID-19). It wasn’t remoted.

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“It’s not about me,” continued Robinson. “As a district, we’re able to nice issues. We discovered that. I felt it introduced out the very best in all of us. I’m very proud to be a part of the group.”

Robinson has served the Cornwall-Lebanon college district in numerous capacities throughout his 18 years of employment, the final 5 of which have been spent because the director of secondary training. Two years in the past, when it wanted a pandemic coordinator, the varsity district couldn’t consider a greater particular person for the job.

“I feel all of us knew that the pandemic was going to have an effect on all of our jobs,” mentioned Robinson. “We simply felt like I used to be the precise particular person to do it. It’s not like we drew straws. I volunteered to do it. There aren’t any {qualifications} for a pandemic. I had direct oversight over our two largest buildings (Cedar Crest Excessive College and Center College) and we felt prefer it simply made sense.

“I feel COVID-19 has affected everybody’s skilled and personal lives,” Robinson continued. “I’m going to say everybody in our district was affected. I had a job on this pandemic similar to everybody did. All of us had a stake in it. My function was bringing everybody collectively. It modified how we operated.”

Shrouded in uncertainty

The date was March 13, 2020. Nobody knew precisely what COVID-19 was or what it might do. However everybody knew it was severe.

Shrouded with uncertainty, what ensued had been college closings, digital studying, masks mandates, social distancing, contact tracing, vaccinations and documentation. The material of training was modified endlessly. The aim of faculties went from merely studying to defending and studying.

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“I feel all of us needed to perceive what was happening,” mentioned Robinson. “However the minute we got here collectively professionally, I used to be amazed by the entire unity throughout the college district. I feel when persons are challenged, issues come out of them as people. Individuals simply stepped up. I noticed folks targeted on the mission at hand. For me, there are visible reminiscences of unbelievable people stepping up throughout the board.”

There was no job description that accompanied Robinson’s “pandemic coordinator” title. Whereas it actually added to an already heavy workload, Robinson discovered about COVID-19 on the fly…

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