From My Angle

Welcome to From My Angle, the blog of a life-long educator, a husband and a father of three boys. It is also my privilege to serve as Head of School at Parish Episcopal School in Dallas, Texas.

This blog reflects my passions: emerging issues in the ever-changing world of education, leadership and leadership development, and living life with the intent to be a person of impact.  I invite you to share perspectives “from your angle” on the issues and items I post to my blog!

High School Athletics: “The Game” Has Changed But The Purpose Shouldn’t

I recently read a compelling piece about the state of interscholastic athletics in my old hometown’s newspaper, Raleigh’s News and Observer. Long time columnist Tim Stevens opined that “high school sports will face challenges” even as the popularity of sports in our society remain at an all time high. I could not agree with him more, particularly when one considers athletics at the independent school level.

In my more than two decades in independent schools, I am not sure there is another …

Posted by Mr. David Monaco in ParishProfile, ParishLeads, athletics on Tuesday April 8 at 12:49PM
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As Income Disparity Grows, Educators Face Challenges on Both Ends of the Spectrum

I recently attended the Tocqueville Society of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas luncheon at which Mayor Rawlings announced his plans to launch a task force to address poverty in Dallas. Quite accurately, the Mayor recognizes this issue as a root cause of the educational challenges facing the close to 200,000 children in Dallas living in poverty (according to a 2012 report from Children’s Medical Center) and as a threat to the continued vitality of our city.

I serve as the head of an …

Posted by Mr. David Monaco in education reform, leadership, community on Wednesday March 19 at 03:45PM
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ParishArts: An Integral Part of the ParishProfile

In 2005, with the pace of change caused by the technological revolution reaching an irreversibly breakneck speed, a relatively unknown author named Daniel Pink published A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. It would become instantly impactful, spending over 100 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List and influencing the thinking of educators like me. 

In short, Pink argued that the conceptual age required "A Whole New Mind." The industrial and information ages had …

Posted by Mr. David Monaco on Wednesday March 5 at 02:48PM
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Perhaps the Most Important Piece...

Within the last week, students in my Upper School Leadership for the 21st Century class were introduced to the following quote:

“No creature can fly with just one wing. Gifted leadership occurs where heart and head – feeling and thought – meet. These are the two wings that allow a leader to soar.” (Primal Leadership, Goleman, McKee, Boyatzis, P. 26)

Typically, upon first reading, the words create some head scratching. What, after all, does “heart” have to do with leadership, a word often …

Posted by Mr. David Monaco in definitive preparation, ParishLeads on Thursday February 6 at 02:12PM
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Being "College Prep" is No Longer Enough

“The Degree Is Doomed.” The headline of Michael Staton’s Harvard Business Review blog post from January 8, 2014 caught my attention as I perused my Twitter stream earlier this month. As a father of 10th, 6th, and 3rd grade boys – not to mention head of a “college prep” school, the post certainly warranted a closer look.

Staton’s major points are relatively straight-forward:

  • Higher education is “in the midst of dramatic, disruptive change;” he refers to this process as “unbundling.”
  • As a …
Posted by Mr. David Monaco in definitive preparation, vision, Higher Education, "life prep" on Thursday January 23 at 03:37PM
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Making Space for Modern Learning & Final Thoughts from My Excellent College Adventure

In recent blog posts, I have shared observations from my fall visits to a handful of highly regarded colleges and universities, including my tour of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University (also known as the d.school). Given Parish's signature program, ParishSTEM, and our own Design Den and Beasley STEM Center, I felt this experience deserved its own reflection.

Stanford’s d.school represents the growing trend, both on higher-education campuses and in communities across …

Posted by Mr. David Monaco on Wednesday January 8 at 11:01AM
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Reflections from Mr. M’s Excellent College Adventure: While The “What” Shifts Quickly, The “How” Shifts Less Quickly

In my previous blog, I noted the common theme of increased interdisciplinary study opportunities at the colleges I visited. So, when it comes to the “what” is being taught on college campuses, it was clear change was afoot. When it comes to “how” teaching looks in college classrooms, however, my sense is the pace of change is much more deliberate.

At Parish, our Practices have been designed to shift the role of teacher. While the vision of the teacher standing before the class disseminating …

Posted by Mr. David Monaco on Monday December 16, 2013 at 01:34PM
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Reflections from Mr. M’s Excellent College Adventure: STEM and Interdisciplinary Are Here to Stay

 Visiting five universities outside of Texas with a national profile (Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Tufts, and Yale) and meeting with leaders of several others within the state (Austin College; Southern Methodist; Trinity College), reminded me that the strength of America’s higher education landscape lies in its diversity. Each of these institutions offers a unique set of defining characteristics and signature programs.

Indeed, as it relates to the Big Shifts and how individual universities are…

Posted by Mr. David Monaco in definitive preparation, ParishSTEM, education reform, Higher Education on Tuesday December 10, 2013 at 09:49AM
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Mr. M’s Excellent College Adventure...and Why All Independent School Educators Should Have One!

As our seniors have worked furiously on college applications this fall, I, too, have been on a college tour!  My upcoming blog posts will capture some of my reflections from these visits.

As I entered my fifth year at Parish this past July, it seemed an opportune time to move beyond the boundaries of the state. Starting in July, I visited with Dean of Admission Janet Rapalye at Princeton. Then, in three weeks this fall, I have travelled from the west coast to the east to visit Stanford, Yale, …

Posted by Mr. David Monaco in definitive preparation, ParishProfile, education reform, Higher Education on Tuesday December 3, 2013 at 10:17AM
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The Big Shifts: Are You Ready?

During the year's first trimester, Parish's academic leaders and I have communicated regularly with our School community about the ParishProfile and how the Ten Practices of Definitive Preparation prime students not only for college, but for the world that lies beyond.

In their October letters, Lower School Head Susie Demarest, Middle School Head Jay Riven and Upper School Head Michelle Lyon demonstrated with vivid examples how the ParishProfile drives our instructional approach and arms …

Posted by Mr. David Monaco in definitive preparation, ParishProfile, educational policies, education reform on Monday November 11, 2013 at 04:48PM
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