Hiking Into Retirement

My blog has been silent for several months, even though my life has been spinning in many directions. Early last summer I was given the opportunity to serve my school as both the Superintendent and the Hugh School Principal. From the enrollment of new students to the hiring of teachers to building a master schedule of classes to the faculty orientation to the start of school, my summer’s agenda was filled with variety and demand. School opened its doors in August and the return of students brought athletics, concerts, schedule changes, teachers’ meetings, state reports, faculty observations, board meetings, and the mountain of administrivia.

But then came a sense of peace. The board of trustees renewed their two-year-old commitment to find a new Head of School. As the search began, I knew that the time was right to retire. I have enjoyed an action-packed 34 years in Christian School education. And yet, the decision to pass the leadership baton to others more qualified and filled with the youthful energy of the pink rabbit was filled with relief. I will complete this school year but will erase the chalkboard for the last time in June. There is a sense of sorrow to leave my friends and colleagues but a huge anticipation to discover what lies on the other side of the retirement door.

All of that to say, one of my passions is writing…. another is hiking. So, I anticipate in retirement an opportunity to fill some blog pages with research and personal experiences on the trail. This past January one of my closest colleagues and I were able to offer a two-week class to high school students on hiking. Now hiking in Ohio in January is a risk – a risk of bitter cold weather, slippery trails, inches of snow, and high winds that can blow a man sideways. It was a blast and I had so much fun trekking the trails with teenagers (and getting paid for it). More insights into this extraordinary group of high school students in an upcoming post.

I attended two hiking workshops in the last month that were both interesting and impactful on my hiking plans for the future. One workshop focused on the John Muir Trail in California and the other on the Buckeye Trail, a loop around the state of Ohio. Stay tuned for some of my reflections in the next few posts.

The Appalachian Trail is in my blood and I experience some sort of reminder in the wind every day of Springer Mountain and Mount Katahdin and the two thousand + miles in between. Hike It Forward pages to come will highlight some of the brave (and crazy) people who have declared themselves as thru-hikers during this 2017 season.

Categories: Appalachian Trail, Dayton Christian, Hike It Forward, Hiking, Mount Katahdin, Ohio, Retirement, Springer Mountain, Students, Thru-Hike, Trail | Tags: , , , , | 19 Comments

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19 thoughts on “Hiking Into Retirement

  1. LaVerne Dickey

    It will be exciting to see what happens in this chapter in your life. You’ve influenced many students and faculty/staff in your years with Dayton Christian. I’m also ready for my next chapter. I look forward to finding out what you are writing.

    • My time at DC has been a blast and the relationships (including yours) I made with coworkers were the highlight. What does your next chapter look like?

  2. March 21st from Springer. Hope the snow is finished for the year.

    • Mike Fuller – are you tracking your journey online? I would love to follow your adventure.

      • I will be posting “now and then” on my wordpress mikefullerauthor.com blog/website. I have it on my phone and will try to what I can. Best of luck on your retirement. I don’t know how I got anything done while I was working full time. Now that i’m retired and writing novels, there aren’t enough hours in the day for all I want to do. I don’t plan on writing while on the trail but will be soaking up all that goes on around me. I should get a shirt made up with: CAUTION, writer. Anything you say or do may end up in a future work of fiction.

      • Mike Fuller – God’s speed on your thru-hike. I’ll be checking your blog for updates!

      • Well, the update is… that it was a good section hike. Bad knee stopped me at Woody Gap. But no regrets and there are more sections in the future.

      • Mike Fuller – Sorry about the knee!Any hike is a good hike. One great thing about the AT – it is always there waiting for your return.

      • And I will, for shorter, lighter trips. We live about 35 miles from the AT and I can go there anytime. I look forward to some overnight trips to the Allentown shelter to strengthen my knees.

  3. Congrats on your impending retirement and on the upcoming adventures that are sure to come with it!

    • Mike – I am excited to close the door of my career in education and see what God has for me on the other side of the door.

  4. janloyd

    Congratulations, dear brother! Thank you for your ministry to our son Jeremy and our DIL as principal when they were at DCHS in Dayton back in the 1990’s. And thank you for the blessing and encouragement you have been to me through the years connected to DCS as parent, pre-school teacher, homeschool coordinator. And I will never forget your joyful endorsement of my Bible study book. I will excitedly watch for your blog and your other writings and adventures. Life is never boring when we “hike it out” with our Lord, is it? Much love and prayers for both you and Cathy as you transition into this next part of your journey with Him. Jan

    • Jan – your words are always so encouraging and kind. God has blessed me in so many ways. Three decades at DC has produced so many incredible memories.

  5. Thrilled for you, Dave! Congrats!

  6. Tim Combs

    God bless you, Dave. Thank you for all your hard work at DC over the years. Your investment in the lives of so many people has made an eternal difference.

  7. Justin Whitaker

    Great post. We are excited for you as you start the next chapter!

    • Justin Whitaker – Thanks for the comment. Looking forward to including your family in the next chapter. Happy Birthday!!

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