"Relational, introspective, and student-centered; Ben Gilpin has the ability to help others think more deeply about a situation than virtually any other educator I’ve had the chance to work with. Not only does he look at issues from a big-picture standpoint, he consistently brings them back to what is best for the individual learners being impacted by the collaborative conversations he’s part of. Ben has found a way to balance the need for innovation in education with the relational underpinnings that support everything we do.”
~Dr. Brad Gustafson, National Distinguished Principal, Author, Speaker, and Co-Host of UnearthED Podcast
“It is hard to find person as caring as Ben Gilpin. He has an amazing, genuine servant's heart. This coupled with a work ethic dedicated to excellence for kids, and you have someone ripe to move into a role that allows him to activate, support, and champion other leaders in the district. Ben's excellence is not only recognized in his district, but he has built a network of amazing educators around the country that support his brilliance with resources and ideas. Ben is a guy that I would want next to me to take a district to the next level because on the positive days, we would celebrate and give credit to everyone else, but most importantly on the difficult days when Ben's loyalty and level-head can guide the ship forward.”
~Dr. Robert Dillon, Director of Innovation, School District of University City, St. Louis, MO
“I consider Ben Gilpin to be one of the finest educational leaders in our nation. He is an expert in all areas of teaching and learning and always puts students at the center of his work. My many interactions with Ben have always been enriching; he has pushed my own thinking and often sought feedback on his own. He is a master relationship-builder, innovative practitioner, excellent writer, and lifelong learner who has earned the respect and affection of all who know him well.”
~Jeff Zoul, President, ConnectEDD
The most commonly used phrase I encounter with families is, "I want what is best for my child." Internally I think one thing...Don't we all? I mean seriously, my mission is to make the best experience possible for every single child.
This phrase brings up an internal struggle for me. What is best? I can tell you what I believe is best may be different from what you believe is best? This phrase that is so often used is truly open-ended. Let me speak to my own son: Drew is sixteen and in high school. Drew has challenges, he is on the spectrum, and he struggles to understand many social situations. Drew is a bright boy, shoot he knows more facts about science and computers then I ever could. His reading ability is off the charts, and his knowledge of Star Wars could likely rival George Lucas. So the interesting case is this, what is best for Drew? Do I want school and society to conform to Drew? Do I want Drew to conform to society and figure it out? What is best?
I've thought long and hard about this situation. This situation is unique because it is Drew, but let's be blunt...we all have students that are unique. Some are ADHD, some have learning challenges, some are handicapped, and some come to school with so much baggage that learning is an after thought. The debate is, "what is best?"
What is best? I believe what is best is that we love and care for each child individually. My belief is that a student that enjoys school WILL succeed. I believe every child desires high expectations. I believe ALL students can succeed! It is my mission to show all kids that they are cared for and valued.