Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Excellence In Action

In the continuing vein of articles about Dave, here is one written by Reed Sutton, our tennis coach (at that time) and now our WCS girls' basketball coach/assistant high school principal. It was posted on Reed's blog on October 21, 2005.

...Like watching Jack Nicholson in "A Few Good Men"...Like watching Michael Jordan in a late game situation...Like watching Paul McCartney (or my favorite band Dream Theater) on stage...like watching Tiger with a lead in the final round...like watching Roy Oswalt on the mound against the Cards...Like listening to Ernie Harwell call a Detroit Tigers game...Like watching Gretzky set up a man two passes ahead for a goal...Like talking to Mike Marsh about optimizing one's physical capabilities by maximizing the mental capability...Like watching Greg Glenn run a basketball practice...Like listening to Steve Hawley tell a story...Like studying group cohesion with a lesson from Mark Sutton... all of these are the epitome of excellence in action. I had the opportunity to spend a weekend with one of the great teachers in our country. Dave Hawley is a 7th grade History teacher and girls and boys tennis coach at Wichita Collegiate School in Wichita, Kansas. He came in to Houston to do a tennis clinic, but ultimately gave me a clinic on expecting excellence and being aware and positively reinforcing things that people do that are right, while negatively reinforcing things that people do that are wrong. I don't know if I have ever been around anyone in my walk on earth who can more succinctly and genuinely teach their craft like Dave, whose only "fault" may be the passion for Cornhusker Football. He has won every award I can think of, but consistently tells stories of the rewards of teaching kids and not subjects or sports. He has molded champions (to the tune of 35 state champion tennis teams in Kansas) on the court, but weaves into every story and every conversation what it means to be a champion in life even over a greasy, folded slice of Supreme from Frank's Pizza while watching an Astros World Series game. I am fortunate to have crossed paths with him and appreciate his friendship and our kindred spirit love for Sparky Anderson (he for the Reds, me for the Tigers). To be with him for a weekend is to be with him for a lifetime. Thanks, Coach Hawley.
...Reed Sutton

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