jon gordon
  • Author, speaker Jon Gordon speaks to staff during opening week of school

    By Brit Milazzo
    bmilazzo@basd.net
    Public relations, BASD

    In what Assistant Superintendent Tammie Burnaford called an “unprecedented” effort among Bellefonte and Bald Eagle area school districts allowed a nationally-renowned author and motivational speaker to be a part of an event to kick off the school year for staff who started the week of Aug. 13.

    The event on Aug. 15 included Jon Gordon who spoke to members of both districts and Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology at the Bellefonte Area High School auditorium.

    Gordon is an author and motivational speaker whose clients include companies such as Southwest Airlines, SC Johnson, Wells Fargo and more; professional athletic teams such as the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, Pittsburgh Pirates, Miami Heat and more; and university athletic departments at Clemson University, University of Nebraska, West Point Academy, Penn State and more.

    “The goal is to learn the importance of positivity in our schools and to create a more positive culture in each school and team,” Burnaford said.

    Meant to inspire and motivate staff, Gordon shared a message of positivity and strength found in successful teams, which Burnaford said in turn will help make our schools a better place for students. In his speech on Wednesday morning, he said, “there is something about an educator, especially a positive educator that makes the biggest difference. It’s about the power of positive energy to have a great impact.”

    Burnaford worked closely with Jim Orichosky from the Bald Eagle Area School District who is a member of the board of directors for the PA Principals Association. The two connected after Gordon spoke last year at the association’s state conference, which was organized by Orichosky, and was able to help bring in Gordon to the district to help kick off opening week.