Episode 44 – Darrin Peppard – Road to Awesome or Off Road

Adam DeWittPrincipal Leadership Lab Podcast

Join Jeff & Adam as we chat with our friend and colleague, Darrin Peppard!  Dr. Darrin Peppard, a self-proclaimed recovering high school principal, is a school district superintendent, speaker, author, and consultant. Darrin’s expertise in school culture and climate, along with coaching and growing emerging leaders has made him a leading voice in school leadership on an international level. Living life on the “Road To Awesome”, Darrin leads through relationships, compassion, and a human-being first focus. Peppard has served kids and adults as a superintendent, principal, assistant principal, teacher, and coach. Darrin was recognized as the Jostens Renaissance Educator of the Year in 2015, Wyoming Secondary School Principal of the Year by WASSP/NASSP in 2016, and in 2019, he was inducted into the Jostens Renaissance Hall of Fame. Darrin and his wife live in Grand County, Colorado spending as much time off the road in their Jeep and hiking with their daughter and their dogs.
Leadership Journey
When I speak, I mention being a “recovering HS principal”
HS principal job is the hardest job in the district
The first time someone mentioned to him the term “leadership,” he almost fell out of his chair
Two most critical questions: hats & cell phones
Let’s actually challenge the status quo – this is actually the moment “Road to Awesome” started
Punishment to gain Compliance – the worst strategy in the world
Getting our kids into relevant learning experiences
Our students are ready to LEAD NOW!
Growing Emerging Leaders
Focusing an a wider audience of people, working with them to find out where they want to grow
Road to Awesome & Relationship with Code Breaker
Good things happen slowly over time
Great things happen rapidly
“Just tell your stories”
Had a book contract overnight
Brian Aspinall – CodeBreaker
Leadership Challenge/Opportunity
Misconception of what it means to be a principal – 1st Year principal
Not leading, being a firefighter
Didn’t delegate well
A leadership coach saved his career
Didn’t feel like he had time for anything other than his “pushpin” tasks set out on his bulletin board
“You need to learn to help other people learn how to solve their problems”
Get out of your own way
Put “school culture” on your calendar
Hopeful
Growing other leaders.  Lift up the voices of teachers everywhere.  Empowering others in education.
Leadership Matters

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Adam DeWitt

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Principal Leadership Lab

Dr. Jeff Prickett

Adam DeWitt

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