Good values the connections he forged in Westerville
Dan Good remembers a recent flight delay at Port Columbus Airport.
Parents of a Westerville band student came up and started talking to Good about their children's experiences.
Then, two Westerville students, one former and one current, approached him and talked about their education and their plans for the future.
Finally, a person who Good didn't recognize waved and called out that she would buy Good a cup of coffee as they waited for their flight.
It's those stories of personal connections that Good recalled and cherished as he prepared to retire from the district at the end of June.
After five and a half years in Westerville, Good left and assumed the post of Columbus City Schools' interim superintendent.
"That's what's important: Not just for people to feel that they're valued but to know that they're valued," Good said.
Good said he worked hard to build those relationships while he was in the district.
It was his policy to visit each Westerville school building every year and personally shake the hand of each employee within those buildings.
Good held regularly scheduled informal "Coffee and Conversations" meetings with residents, inviting community members to join him at local coffee shops to discuss district issues in a casual setting.
It was his administration's policy to reply to any information request within 24 hours.
Good also touted among his accomplishments the district's continued academic improvement, as indicated by its numbers on the state report card, and he said the district has done a good job under his watch of being fiscally responsible.
"I know not everyone would agree with that, but when you can take a three-year emergency levy and make it last five years or longer, that shows we are making efficiencies," Good said.
While Good is proud of the difference he's made during his five years in the district, he said he's gained a lot from the job, as well.
He said the fast pace and variety of challenges in the district's administrative office was something he enjoyed every day.
"It's a roller coaster ride every day," Good said. "It's the variety. You have to be affable, where you're able to move between the macro and the micro."
Above all, Good said he's enjoyed his regular interactions with Westerville staff and students and knowing that he's been able to work to have a positive impact on students.
"I love our students. The No. 1 motivation for service in education is altruism; they want to support the students," Good said. "I figure that's my calling, that's my work."