"He couldn’t have done what he did without you.” - Sam Stecher

Our Honors & Awards Ceremony is about to start here in Tiger Town. A father of one of our students just came up to me and said “I want to thank you for all the help you’ve given my son. He couldn’t have done what he did without you.” 
It humbles me to no end when someone thanks me for helping their child in any capacity. 
However, it’s important for me to acknowledge that it’s just not true for two reasons. The first being that the young man he speaks of, his son, has significant assets working in his favor. He’s intelligent, driven, hardworking, respectful, and self aware. Truly that’s just the tip of the iceberg for this kid. He will be successful at whatever he chooses to put his mind to whether Mr. Stecher is around to make a contribution to his efforts or not. 
Here’s the other thing, he couldn’t have done what he did without all of the people around him providing support. My contribution to his success was pretty nominal. I saw an opportunity where I could lend a hand so I did. So did a lot of other people in much more significant manner starting with his parents who have done more than anybody to provide both a foundation and the momentum critical to his success. Along the way there have been countless contributions from family, friends, teachers, community members, support staff, coaches, and other individuals who might have flown under the radar but were no less important. That’s a lot of belief supporting one kid. 
It all adds up. 
We can’t all make the same contributions and not every student has the same people for support. But we all have a responsibility to do what we can for who we can when we can. Like I said, it all adds up. The more it adds up the more likely our students are to capitalize on the support. 

“He couldn’t have done what he did without you.”

Forgive me for disagreeing but I believe he would have made it happen without me. I’m just happy I had a small part. I’m more happy so many others made sure that they made the contributions they could as well. And I am unabashedly proud of all of our students who put together all of the contributions from so many people to build their own successes.

I just realized that I may have just written my graduation speech for this year and for that I have a Dad and his Son to thank. 
So thanks fellas, I couldn’t have done what I just did without your help.

You can read more of what Mark and Sam have to say in their book It Happens In The Hallway. Just click here.