Monday, February 3, 2014

Election Eve

Twas the night before the election…

The kids are in bed.  The dog has been fed.  Sammy’s washing dishes (Wives, be jealous.  Husbands, take note.).  And I’m thinking.

I’m thinking about how proud I am that Sammy’s running tomorrow.  Honestly, when I first told Sammy about the special election, I was considering making a run for the School Board seat.  My step-dad, Danny Henderson, was on Powhatan’s School Board, and I was attracted to the idea of following in his footsteps to lead the community we both love so much.

But Sammy expressed interest before I ever voiced mine, and I thought, “Oh, that’s even better.  He’d be better.  In fact, he’d be fantastic!”
Now, I’m entirely biased as his wife, and I don’t apologize for that.  If your spouse can’t be biased in your behalf, then who can?!  But Sammy and I share more than a last name, a home, a mortgage, a family, a car, a truck, and a dog (the cutest yellow lab puppy you’ve ever seen).

We also share a calling, a vocation, and an office.  That’s right; we live together, and we work together.  It’s a good thing we like each other.

So, as Sammy’s biased wife, partner in everything, and colleague, here’s why I think he’d be great:
  •  He’s brilliant.  It hurts my pride to admit how intelligent my husband is.  His brain has a capacity for cataloguing and storing information that I envy.  He will soak up all the information he can gather about our school system, sort it, store it, and recall it at just the right time, in just the right situation.
  • He thinks deeply.  Sammy and I are both on the senior staff team of our church, and when our team faces an issue, Sammy sees not just the issue, but what’s behind it, under it, in front of it, and throughout it.  He sees the big picture, the implications, and the precedents that accompany the decision. 
  • He is passionate.  Sammy is passionate about our community, about understanding our culture and where it has gone awry, about our kids, about education, and about doing what is right and just.
  • He makes the team better.   I think Sammy could bring to the School Board what he brings to our senior staff team.  Sammy listens well, but also speaks up boldly when he questions a decision.  Sammy asks questions—hard questions, complex questions, the right questions.  He’s comfortable being the dissenting voice, but he also knows how to work with a diverse team and  how to make it effective and efficient.
  • He is wired for strategic planning.  In recent years, Sammy has combined his mathematical mind and his leadership experience to become an effective strategic planner.  He can plot a path from here to there in broad strokes, and he can break it down to infinite detail.  He sees where the organization needs to go and how it can get there.
  • He cares about people.  He wants to hear from people—when they’re happy with him and his organization, and when they’re not.  He handles potentially difficult conversations with upset people as well as anyone I know.  He appreciates affirmation and craves constructive feedback.  He wants to hear the truth of people—their hopes, their fears, their successes, their frustrations, and everything in between.  He would listen to District 4 and listen well.

Good night, this night before the election.  If you're in Powhatan, please vote tomorrow--for whomever you think will best represent you and lead our county forward.