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Association of Washington School Principals
Washington Principal | Volume 2– 2022-23
Summer Conference Sneak Peak
The Lighthouse Effect
2023 AWSP/WASA Summer Conference keynoter Steve Pemberton speaks to the principle that guides his work (and our conference theme)
Steve Pemberton
Chief Human Resources Officer, Workhuman, and Best Selling Author, “A Chance in the World”
Evaluation Criteria: Creating a Culture, Ensuring School Safety, Improving Instruction, Engaging Families & Communities
Editor’s Note: Steve Pemberton is the Sunday evening keynote speaker at the 2023 AWSP/WASA Summer Conference, taking place June 25-27 in Spokane. Pemberton will speak more to his Lighthouse Effect principle and how it relates to school leaders. There’s still time to register for the conference! This year, WASA is the office of record. Visit their website to learn more and register. Here’s a preview of his summer conference remarks. The Lighthouse Effect is the simple idea that each day, and each interaction that unfolds over the course of that day, presents an opportunity for us to be a lighthouse for another and to find one for ourselves. I have had the opportunity to speak to many audiences about the Lighthouse Effect principle and for me there is no audience for whom this is more applicable than educators.
The physical structure that is the lighthouse is a timeless architectural marvel that has been with us since ancient times. Technology should have made the need for lighthouses obsolete and yet still they endure. I think the reason for this is that, in many ways, lighthouses represent the absolute best qualities of humanity. These qualities include:
  • Demonstrating Selflessness
  • Guiding Others Through Uncertainty
  • Being Constant and Consistent
  • Turning Doubts into Destinations
  • Seeing Possibilities over Circumstances
  • Having the Courage to Encourage
  • Embodying Innovation
  • Empowering and Inspiring Through Example
  • Exemplifying a Spirit of Resiliency
  • Seeing Beyond the Surface
These qualities also exemplify the way educators show up in the world each and every day.
When you think about it, other than your own family members, who are the first to awaken us to these values?
It is those who teach us.
I have had the opportunity to ask thousands of people to tell me who their ‘human lighthouses’ have been and somewhere on just about everyone’s list is an educator. Not only do we remember educators, we also know why they are so important to us. We are actually able to assign one of the qualities of the lighthouses to those who have impacted us the most. And as time and life move on, they only grow in significance to us for we realize that our life journey would have been completely different without them.