Monday, January 19, 2015

Always Present, Always Positive: Dan Kerr Makes Everyone Better

Every morning when students arrive at Academia Cotopaxi in Quito, Ecuador, they are greeted with a huge smile and a friendly, "Good morning," "Happy Monday," or one of any number of impromptu acapella songs. I've never been to Ecuador, but I know this happens every day - rain or shine - because Dan Kerr is there.

In his first year as the Intermediate Principal at Academia Cotopaxi, Dan is, without a doubt, bringing positivity and happiness to the entire school community.  I can be so incredibly confident that this is happening because I’ve seen it with my own eyes (and heard it too!)
Dan Kerr and I started out as mere acquaintances; we met at the Principals Training Center (PTC) in Miami, Florida.  We worked in the same small group and had many spirited conversations about education during our class time, on the golf course, and over a drink or two.  It was apparent to me that Dan’s zest for life was not limited to sports, his family, or school, but rather it encompassed every single breath he took.
Fortunately for me, Dan later became my mentor and one of my best friends in the world (which means something a little more special in the very transient international teaching community).  He encouraged me to join him in Shanghai, where he mentored me in my first years as a Middle School Vice Principal.  Dan’s guidance extended beyond the workplace.  He became a better friend than anyone could ever wish for, guiding me through any and all of the challenges life had in store for me.   Dan has impacted my life immeasurably; there are no words that can explain the gratitude I have for him!

I’m surely not the only person who is grateful for all that Dan has brought to their life.  Dan has become a widely read educational blogger at, as his weekly posts are shared out to tens-of-thousands of people via multiple social media and educational networks. With over 1.5 million views to his page as of May of 2014 (I snooped last Spring), Dan has surely had a positive influence on a lot of people around the world.
It speaks volumes about Dan that his former students (now in High School here in Shanghai) are brainstorming ways to celebrate his upcoming birthday despite the fact that he is literally on the other side of the world!
After more than 15 years in education, Dan has surely touched the hearts of many students, parents, and colleagues.  I am one of those lucky many that have been able to learn and benefit from the friendship and guidance of Dan Kerr.
On behalf of all those who have been fortunate enough to meet Dan and experience his infectious positive energy, I would like to say…
“Thank you for all that you’ve done and for being the presence you have become in so many of our lives!”

This letter of gratitude was written on behalf of all the lives Dan Kerr has touched...