Head's Corner

December 11, 2012

Greetings CMS Families,

I hope that you had an amazing weekend.  Hopefully you are remaining healthy during this holiday season.  I know it has been a challenge to be fully engaged without catching a common cold or sniffle.  Last week was amazing.  Every night something was “jumping off” (happening) at CMS.  We began the week with Dr. Gigi Luk who spoke about the effect of bilingualism on brain development.  At the Festival of Lights, we celebrated holiday traditions from around the world.  We closed the week with an amazing Stay and Play.  All events were a huge success!  I always want to attend every event; if I cannot, I think that I am missing out, and there is some truth to that!  However, I realize that being present at everything takes its toll on you.  By Friday, my body felt like I had been hit by an 18-wheeler.  Everything hurt from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet.  All I could think of was getting the heck out of dodge and going straight to bed. 

I did just that, leaving behind a mountain of unfinished tasks, unreturned phone calls and email.  I slept for 14 hours!  It felt great until I woke up in a panic in the middle of the night thinking about everything from Jim Collins’ book From Good to Great, to my dissertation Chair Jim Marini’s words that haunt me to this day, “good enough.”  The two Jims have made have been my Yin and Yang.  On the one hand, I am constantly striving to move the needle from “g” to “E.”  Not just from good to great but from good to Exceptional.  On the other hand, I realize that sometimes your standards can be so high that you are never satisfied and you just have to say, “good enough.”  I thought I would never have that attitude growing up in my household. 

I remember my mom deflating my dream of becoming a flight attendant.  "Honey," she said with such sass, "flight attendants are very stylish and I’m sure quite smart, but I think you would make a great pilot.  They look great in their uniforms also.  Why settle for the flight attendant when you can be the pilot?"  I was devastated for about five minutes.  But those were typical comments from my mother.  Never settle.  Be your best.  Think that you can and you will.  Although my dad had the same expectations, he was a lot more diplomatic.   I realized that my mom’s razor sharp comments always came from a good place even though they would follow me like a bad habit.  Then came those famous two words that my dissertation advisor would share to help me complete my dissertation. "Good Enough."  

Dr. Jim Marini stood about 5'6" inches tall, but his personality was life size.  I am my own worst critic.  Nothing is ever good enough.  It is a blessing and a curse.  Jim warned me in his heavy New England accent with a bit of his Italian heritage,  “For Christ’s sake, ya just havta know that it’s good enough and stop driving yourself crazy! Jeez!” Crazy is where I was headed. I just needed to finish the *%$ (darn) thing! Good enough worked in that situation and many more to follow.  I am finally at a place in my life where I’m comfortable with my assets and liabilities.  I will continue to strive for Exceptional and there’s simply nothing wrong with that.  As long as I have balance, it’s all good.  Last year at the State of the School, I proclaimed that I wanted CMS to be the best school in the world.  Today, I want that even more.  Why would we settle for being a second choice or good enough for some instead of filling our school with people who think that we are the greatest?  Muhammad Ali may have rubbed some people the wrong way, but he believed he was the greatest and made the rest of the world believe the same thing.  Frankly I’m a little tired of everyone saying how much they love CMS but….  There is no "but."  I’ve been questioned about my agenda.  At first I was taken aback.  Then I thought, "Heck yeah I have an agenda!"  My agenda is to do whatever it takes to make us everyone’s first choice.  That’s not just my responsibility; it is my honor and privilege.  

My dissertation may have been good enough but CMS will be Exceptional!  We are worthy of being treated like a wife and not a mistress, like royalty and not the help.  I’m sure your eyebrows are probably raised right now.  Good.  I promise to always have grace, courtesy, honesty and transparency.   If I can’t say what I feel to you, and you to me, then we don’t have an authentic relationship.  What a man thinketh, so shall he be!  I think we are Cambridge Fabulous.  In the intellectual world, Cambridge alone connotes excellence.  In the hip hop world or among the 20-something crowd, "fabulous" means the absolute best!  Whatever world you navigate, one common goal is to move the CMS needle from “g” to “E.”  Welcome aboard "CMS Exceptional."  Please fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the flight!  Our final destination…. yeah you got it:  Exceptional.  Have a phenomenal week!

Warm regards,


Dr. Ingrid Tucker
Head of School 


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