Mr. Daniel Steel's 5 Years at SISFU

It sounds like a short time… or not… I suppose. Depending on one’s age.

But to work together for 5 years. And not just any 5 years. These past 5 years of COVID, of new programmes, of upheaval, of change and new growth.

It has been tumultuous, challenging, at times frustrating, and yet so immensely satisfying.

To see 5 batches of students graduate that I shared some small bit of insight with. To see Associates become Coordinator, Coordinators become Managers and Heads, and Managers become Deans and Directors, and so on.

It has been a quiet saga, of nurtured hopes and practiced skills, of ambitions and camaraderie and occasional commiseration.

We have shared so much these past 5 years together. BUT Tomorrow is a new day in SISFU’s history. As you know, Dr. Diamante is retiring and I cannot speak about the past 5 years without including Doc.

Doc, you hired me full-time at SISFU and made a role and a home for me here. Your mentoring, support, strength, wisdom, and kindness have made this institution and my own life so much BETTER than they ever would have been.

Thank you Doc. I’ll miss you Doc.

5 years… funny how quickly they pass when you’re doing what you love surrounded by camaraderie and support.

SISFU is my Alma Mater, my family, my home.

I treasure the past 5 years even as I blink and wonder where all the time went.

Hmm, what lessons can I share from the past 5 years that might help…

Number 1: Don’t make Annabelle mad…

Share your challenges rather than keeping silent.

Speak out for the change you want to see, but do it with a smile. How you communicate controversial issues matters as much or more than what you actually have to say. I have learned this the hard way.

Unpopular opinions are often still true.

We are all just people, by which I mean silly barely evolved apes. Each of us has our own burdens, our own weaknesses and failures, and our own hard-earned truths. Respect the person and the perspective they are brave enough to voice, even if you disagree. Especially when you disagree.

Embrace the vibrant curiosity of our students (without succumbing to their youthful drama).

Take pride in your work, for each and every one of you deserves respect for choosing a career in education at SISFU. Each of you make what we do for our students possible.

SISFU has been built over the past 25 years by many of the people in this room. Whether you are brand new to the organization, or have been here for decades, SISFU is your home, now and always.

Written by: Daniel Steel

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