What Does the Future Hold?

When I was in my undergraduate secondary education program, I had to take a methods class on wrestling. I had never wrestled or even watched a wrestling match (other than those ‘rasslin programs on TV). I asked my advisor, Dr. John Byrd, “Why do I have to take this class?  I have no interest  in wrestling.” His reply was very insightful. He said, “You never know when a job offer will include coaching wrestling.” Well, he was wrong. My first job did not require that I coach wrestling. My second job did! 

In any profession, we seldom end up where we started. Along the way many opportunities are opened to us, and our success often depends on the experiences we have had along the way. I once asked Mike Barron, the admission director at the University of Iowa at the time, “Mike, why do you encourage your admission staff to become involved in leadership positions in their professional organization?” His response was like Dr. Byrd’s. “They may not always be in the admission field, but the skills they acquire through these experiences will serve them in any profession. And if they continue in admission, the experiences will make them more effective counselors.” 

After a 44-year career in school counseling, I had the opportunity to step into the lead role in relaunching a former private four-year liberal arts college as a career and technical school. In all those 44 years in counseling, I had made a concerted effort to not become an administrator. And yet, that is exactly what I am. Throughout this career transformation, I continually look back and see the impact of experiences I have had through Iowa ACAC, NACAC, ISCA, and ASCA. Almost daily, I use skills learned from organizational boards, advisory committees, and strategic planning committees. But the most impactful help has come from the personal relationships I have enjoyed over the years with leaders in both secondary and post-secondary institutions I have had the privilege to know. 

Whether in life or in your chosen profession, aging is automatic. In fact, we cannot stop it. But growth is optional. Professional growth requires involvement, commitment, and sacrifice. It is not easy, but it is rewarding. I never thought at the time, that all these opportunities would someday serve me in this position. But it is very rewarding when I realize that the success of Tarkio Technology Institute (Tarkio Tech as we call it) is a result of all these friends and colleagues who have intersected my life at one time or another and the opportunities I have been exposed to along the way. 

And remember, you never know when you’ll be asked to coach wrestling!
John Davis, President Tarkio Technology Institute
Past-President Iowa ACAC 2003-2004, 2015-2016
Past-President ISCA 2006-2006
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