Thursday, December 30, 2010

Importance of Effective Educational Leadership to Successful Student Outcome by Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa

America’s high schools have an important role to play in preparing students for college and work in the 21st century. In the last decade, schools have been impacted by such things as technological advances, changes in society, a shortage of qualified educators, and increased accountability pressures. Calls for dramatic reform in our educational organizations will no doubt change the way our schools will be doing business in the future.

School success is more important now than ever before for the health of our economy.  Due to our current economic conditions, high school reform is of particular importance as Federal, State, and Local leaders devote attention and resources to improving high school graduation rates and increasing the attainment of college and work readiness.  
 The definition of leadership adopted by Yukl and Van Fleet in their seminal literature review states that leadership is, “a process that includes influencing the task objectives and strategies of a group or organization, and influencing people in the organization” (Yukl, 1992). According to the American Educational Research Association findings from research on school leadership, the following claims were submitted:
1.         Leadership has significant effects on student learning, second only to the effects of the quality of curriculum and teachers’ instruction.
2.         Other potential sources of leadership exist besides administrators and teacher leaders.
            3.         A core set of “basic” leadership practices are valuable: articulating a vision, setting high expectations for performance, facilitating the acceptance of group goals, monitoring performance, communicating, offering intellectual stimulation, providing individualized support, strengthening positive school culture, building collaboration processes, and maintaining a positive environment.
4.         Successful school leaders accept policies that emphasize accountability as opportunities. These principals create a competitive school by empowering others to make decisions, providing instructional leadership, and performing strategic planning efforts.

5.         Successful school leaders understand the challenges of educating diverse groups of students. These principals see this challenge as an opportunity to build powerful forms of teaching and learning, develop strong communities in schools, and nurture the development of families’ educational culture.           

Most effective schools studies have identified school leadership as a key characteristic to being a successful and effective school. Most of these studies also indicate that good schools have good principals. These principals are considered good because they are able to articulate a common vision (U.S. Department of Education, 1996 embraced (Hodges 2000).

For public school systems in the United States, high school graduation rates represent a key indicator of school performance. Schools and districts in which more students earn high school diplomas are generally regarded as better performers than those school districts with more students dropping out of school.  Engaging students in school and helping them work toward graduation is a critical task for many educators at this time.  We all can play an important role in providing quality school leadership in our schools.  Key points to keep in mind related to school leadership are:
·         Everyone should take on a leadership role in educating our children.
·         Be active in local school decision making.
·         Volunteer your time and expertise to local schools.

Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa is a mother, educator, and wife living in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.  She is a PhD student with Our Lady of the Lake University in Leadership Studies.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is the President of the Leadership Empowerment Group, LLC and is currently researching the relationship between the leadership of the high school principal and the high school drop out rate.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is the author of Are You A Ten?  The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader.   For ordering information, please contact Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa at

Where is The Love? Part 3 by LaShawn Sithole (Sit OH' lay)

Welcome Back! A Warm Welcome New and Veteran Readers from: S. Korea, Iran, Tunisia, India, United Arab Emirates, Slovenia, Philippines, Taiwan, Denmark, US, UK, Canada, Netherlands, Egypt and Nepal. Thank You So Much for Joining Us!!!

Our main verse comes from Matthew 22:37-39. Jesus replied, “You must love The Lord Your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your your neighbor as yourself."



First, the mind is defined as the reasoning facility of an individual, one’s memory and one’s intention. That’s why we say, “I have a mind (or in some cases ½ a mind) to do or not to do something.

So, when we love God with all of our mind, we set out an intention to put into our memory the things that God says.

We are told in 2 Corinthians 2:16 that we have the very mind of Christ.  What this means is that as we seek to mature spiritually, we must make up our mind to know God’s Will. This is the first step to obedience.

And just what is God’s Will?  I am glad that you asked.  It is God’s Divine Intention and the thing that He desires.  We are blessed to have it all recorded in His Word, the Holy Bible. 

My girlfriend reminded me that the other day that the letters BIBLE stand for Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.

So, then, it stands to reason that when we love God with all of our mind, we will: Study; ***Pray and ***Praise God. 

(Note: ***Denotes topics covered in the next post)

I. Study as 2 Timothy 2:15 tells us “Work hard so God can say to you, “Well done.” Be a good workman, one who does not need to be ashamed when God examines your work. Know what His Word says and means. (The Living Bible)

II. ***Pray as recommended in 2 Chronicles 7:14 “…then if my people will humble themselves and pray and search for me, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear them from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land.  

and 1 Thessalonians 5:17) which tells us “Always keep on praying.” Then lastly we:
III. ***Praise Him (See the Book of Psalms for awesome examples of praise)
I found it interesting to note that Psalm 107 verses 8, 15, 21, and 31 are identical. It reminds me of a chorus and must be important to praise. Look closely are the words which read:

“Oh, that these men would praise The LORD for His Lovingkindness and for All His Wonderful Deeds!”

When we engage our minds for Scriptural study with a heartfelt intention, God’s Spirit will interpret just what God wants us to understand.  Yes, God’s Holy Spirit will make deposits of understanding into the minds of true believers. 

This is great because it gives us the opportunity to help others. Check out 1 Corinthians 2:10, 13-14

10 But we know about these things because God has sent His Spirit to tell us, and His Spirit searches out and shows us all of God’s deepest secrets.

13 In telling you about these gifts we have even used the very words given to us by The Holy Spirit, not words that we as men might choose. So we use The Holy Spirit’s Words to explain The Holy Spirit’s facts.

14 But the man who isn’t a Christian can’t understand and can’t accept these thoughts from God, which The Holy Spirit teaches us. They sound foolish to him, because only those who have The Holy Spirit within them can understand what the Holy Spirit means. Others just can’t take it in.


My Testimony…One day I went to a client’s office to discuss (I thought) a diversity workshop contract.  When I got there, there was a young woman with whom I had once worked, who seemed to have something troubling her. Big time!

I asked her repeatedly if she was ok and she said yes. Feeling in my spirit that this was not the case, I asked her to follow me to my car. Once there, I did not say a word, but instead I played “It’s Only a Test” for her in the cd of my car and she began to cry.  She thanked me and when she did, I grabbed her hands and prayed for her aloud. 

She thanked me again and told me that she had never had anyone pray for her like that before. I didn’t plan that! Just did it. Here is that song. Sometimes a song is just what you need to hear from God.

(I recommend that you play this song often to encourage yourself through tough times. Listen to the words and vocal parts. Oh, I just love it! "Hold Onnn, be Strong. It's Only a Test!!!") Look closely and you will notice that I chose the video also includes the words... just in case you want to sing along!)

After I played her this song and prayer, I decided to kidnap her and take her to lunch.  While we were there, she opened up told me that she had divorced her husband and they had decided to get back together.  As they were “working things out” she discovered that he was having an affair with the same woman he had had an affair with before.

I mostly listened and marveled at how God gave me just the thing to say to comfort her. I was grateful for that.
At a lunch meeting the very next day, I saw this woman with a glowing smile enter our restaurant. I looked up and to my surprise, it was my friend! She had her hair/makeup together and was dressed a nice outfit to go with that big bright smile. I got up from the table and embraced her. 

I was like, “Wow! Look at you!  You don’t even look like the same person that I talked to yesterday!”

She said, “Yeah, God is doing some things in me.” I told her, “And He will continue to do so, too.” What a blessing that was from God to direct her toward me, to allow me to see, with my own eyes, the effects of Him transforming her by the renewing her of mind.

Now, If I had not studied God’s Word, I would not have been able to discuss with her about being ‘unequally yoked’ nor could I have told her how God can regulate our minds and give us peace by thinking of Him. 

There would have been no way to share with her how we may cast our cares upon Him, nor how He has promised to supply all of our needs, without the intentional study of His Word.

Many times people will try to use only their intellect to interpret God’s Word.  When they do this they will undoubtedly misquote and misinterpret it.  Take a look at: 1 Corinthians 3:19-20. I just love how God says that He will make the wisest of men sound like fools.

19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As it says in the book of Job, God uses man’s own brilliance to trap him; he stumbles over his own “wisdom” and falls.

20 And again, in the book of Psalms, we are told that The LORD knows full well how the human mind reasons, and how foolish and futile it is.

Since we know that Satan is the ‘author of confusion,’ we need clarity from God.This Divine Clarity comes from study and prayer. Which brings us to our next point…stay tuned for Where is the Love, Part 4... We will pick up here!

Thanks for reading and sharing!  Big Blessings to Each of You!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Where is the Love? Part 2

Love , Love, Love.

I have so 'loved' doing this series because it gave me a chance to delve into 'love research' fabulously including quotes like:

"Brief is life but love is long." Alfred Lord Tennyson

Khalil Gibran wrote:

"When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God." And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course."

and he also penned this:

"Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed: For love is sufficient unto love."

My favorite is short, sweet and right to the point.

"GOD IS LOVE." Yes, It is His Very Nature or Who He Is! Since we are made in His Image then - you guessed it -it is in our nature, too!  Cool, huh?

In 1 John 4:16 we read, "We know how much God loves us and we have put our trust in His Love. God is Love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them."

So, how does God want us to love Him?

Jesus replied, “You must love The Lord Your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39)


WE TRUST HIM – Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)
5 Trust in The Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thy own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.

When we truly trust someone we don’t waste time questioning everything the one we trust does.  We believe in him or her and that’s that.

To acknowledge God and what He does for and through us in everything we do is to recognize Him in all our ways. It is when we do this -and not try to handle life in our own strength- that we can be assured that God will show us what to do, say and believe.

 WE OBEY HIM – Deuteronomy 26:16-18
16 Today the Lord Your God has commanded you to obey all these laws and regulations.  You must commit yourself to them without reservation.

17 You have declared today that the Lord is your God.  You have promised to obey His laws, commands and regulations by walking in His Ways and doing everything He tells you.

18 The Lord has declared today that you are His People, His Own Special Treasure, just as He Promised, and that you must obey all His Commandments.

We can’t pick the commands that we want to obey like we pick our favorite piece of chicken or favorite songs on a jukebox.  No, The Word clearly says that we are to obey all of His Commandments and we must do so without reservation. Satan loves confusion. In fact, it all belongs to him. Ask God for clarity. You can not go wrong that way.

WE SERVE HIM – Ephesians 6:6
"Work hard, but not just to please your masters when they are watching.  As slaves of Christ, do The Will of God with all your heart."

Ever heard someone say, “Man, she really put her heart into that!”  We know that this is indicative of someone who put her all into whatever she was doing. Well, where a man's heart is - also shows what's important to him.

God wants all of us to not only feel His Divine Love, but more importantly show this love by sharing it with those who don't know Him. 

Serve the way you are designed. My husband teases me for yelling at the the tv, "Play Your Game, Baby! Nobody can play it like you." 

Of course salvation isn't something to play with but the point remains the same. No one can love like you do because you are a Special Edition. God made you that way so you could share it with His world. 

Now, I dare you.  Love God and watch Him love you back. Show Him how much you love Him by serving His people. You and God know what that is and if you don't know, ask Him. I promise that you'll be glad that you did!!!

Thanks so much for reading and sharing. I am Grateful for You and ...

YES! I Love You Very Much! ******* Big, Big Blessings to Each of You! 

Okay, now let's put our word to work and 'Spread Love!' Enjoy this video by Take 6.

Kirk Franklin - Brighter Day

Here's to a Brighter Day! Big Blessings to You! Spread the Love!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Importance of Education in Individual Success by Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa

America’s expectation that all students will graduate from high school has increased throughout the 20th century and continues to be a focus for educational policies in the United States.  High school graduation rates have gained increasing prominence as a key issue in educational policy since the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was passed into law in January 2002. The NCLB has generated a great deal of research regarding high school dropouts.

Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President
Children's Defense Fund

According to the Children’s Defense Fund, researchers agree that every nine seconds a student decides to permanently leave high school prior to graduation.  This early exit from high school has forced policymakers to investigate and research the educational, economic, and civic impact of dropouts on society. 

A high school diploma has long been regarded as a requirement for economic and social well-being. Generally, the higher levels of education an individual has, the higher the income, the more stable the employment, and the less the individual is dependent on public assistance.

The decision to drop out of high school is rarely caused by one event.
Many students show warning signs years before they leave high school. Whatever the causes, a decision to drop out of high school can have future negative effects on the individual as well as society. 

Every year, more than one million United States students decide to drop out of high school.  These dropouts are unprepared for meaningful work or postsecondary education.  Our communities can no longer afford to allow this trend to continue. 

We All need to work together to keep children in school and improve the well being our communities.  

Here are some things you and I can do to help:
  • If you are a parent and you want your child to graduate on time and prepared for college, talk to your child’s teachers and counselors to ensure that he/she is on track to meet the school’s graduation requirements.
  • If you are a concerned citizen, attend local school meetings to gather more information of what your local high school reform efforts are.
  • If you are an educator, pursue professional development opportunities that present new ideas about high school curriculum and instruction.  Have an open mind.

Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa is a mother, educator, and wife living in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.  She is a PhD student with Our Lady of the Lake University in Leadership Studies.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is the President of the Leadership Empowerment Group, LLC and is currently researching the relationship between the leadership of the high school principal and the high school drop out rate.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is the author of Are You A Ten?  The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader.   For ordering information, please contact Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa at

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Where is the Love? Part 1

Know how sometimes you're sitting somewhere and someone says something that you recognize as the answer to a prayer question that you yourself had asked of God? The person who says it usually has no clue that they've blessed you. Well...tell 'em!

First and foremost, I want to thank Dr. Jimmy D. Hunter, Pastor of The Toliver Chapel Missionary Baptist Church for the idea for this title and confirmation (in the sermon of the same name) that LOVE should be the topic of the next few posts.  It’s so critical to living an abundant life. 


I’d also like to thank my ‘other’ Mom, Erna Watkins, for inviting me to present the Bible lesson at a Women’s Ministry Meeting that she hosted in her home some three years ago. I researched and wrote about Love. Pastor’s recent sermon was on another commandment regarding love that will make for an excellent follow up topic. It’s about how we are to love one another.

This series, “Where is The Love?” is based on Matthew 22:37-39.
“Jesus replied, ‘You must love The Lord Your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

So let’s explore what it means to Love The Lord Our God with All of our heart, soul and mind; plus what it looks like to love our neighbor as we love ourselves

I welcome your comments.

Before we get started, I want you to see this video by Man Navales. It’s really something to think about.

Thank you so much for reading, sharing and for your very kind words. 
They mean a lot! 
Stay tuned! God Bless You!