Bringing My “A” Game – #DadsAsPrincipals Super Bowl Edition

This guest post is written by my friend J. Kapuchuck. a super dad and a super principal in Rockingham County, Virginia. Follow him on Twitter @PrincipalKap

In today’s society everything is changing at a rapid pace.  However, the one thing that has not changed is our passion for either participating in sports or watching them.  Growing up in a town 45 minutes North of Pittsburgh, sports were a part of life and we all bled Black and Gold, which I still do now.  In case you didn’t know, Pittsburgh is the only city where all the major sports teams have the same colors.  Each Sunday during football season we would be glued to our one TV in the house to watch Steelers play, all decked out in our Black and Gold.  I would listen to the stories of the Steel Curtain, the Immaculate Reception, and try to emulate the toughness of Jack Lambert as I would tackle my older brother whenever he would get up.   After the game, we would often go outside and play our own game of football, no matter the temperature or how much snow we had.  It is what we did.


With sports, my family never missed a game or match and were my #1 fans. They expected 110% effort at all times and instilled in me that hard work, dedication, and “heart” were the keys to success.  No matter the sport, I played with extreme passion. With academics, my family also expected me to give my best at all times. My mother and I would often study from note cards because education in those days was just regurgitating information that was drilled into us.  Often in high school, I would be allowed to get out of class to work on the baseball field, go to the gym to work out, or to cut weight for a wrestling match.  However, it did not matter if it was about sports or academics, as the old saying goes, “Failure was not an option” in my family’s eyes.  My family gave me everything I needed to be successful, which amazingly didn’t cost anything but time.

Now, fast forward 25 years.  Sports and education have each changed drastically. The days of playing sports in the backyard with family and friends are nearly obsolete.  You are more likely to find fathers and their children playing Madden 18 in front of a large flat screen TV than you are seeing them playing catch in the backyard.  However, the passion for our beloved sports teams have not changed.  My children proudly wear their Black and Gold, even though I now live in Virginia, to cheer on our beloved Pittsburgh Steelers each Sunday.


In education, if you have ever witnessed the excitement that “NFL DAY” can bring to a school, you would understand that students of all ages can be very passionate about their favorite team. As a school leader of today, I strive to bring that same excitement and passion into my school on a daily basis. I had to learn from my #PrincipalsinAction group and especially from the two most passionate school leaders that I know Andy Jacks  @_AndyJacks and Hamish Brewer @brewerhm that I can not do this if I am sitting in my office.  I have to be visible, in their classrooms, in the cafeteria, outside at recess and maybe even high-fiving kids like they just scored a touchdown.

As a #Dadsasprincipals I have to celebrate all the successes of my children. I have to bring my “A” game everyday and treat it like it is the most important day of the year, just like the Superbowl.  Now, if I could only have Chuck Noll or Mike Tomlin coach me on how to prepare for my first Daddy-Daughter Dance this Friday, I might be OK.