About Me

I began writing these stories six years ago. The final collection contains ninety blacktop parables, but ninety others had to sacrifice themselves at the side of the road for me to reach this hilltop. Each story brought me closer to my heart and my purpose.

When I began writing, I found myself in a time full of doubt and fear. Dreams kept me up and work made me anxious. I didn’t find the source of these fears but I decided to work through that time by writing – recording my journey – so that all that I had experience would not vanish with me.

Over these years, I shared these posts with anyone who would read them. I thought I was writing about leadership at first, but my stories did not look like the writing of researchers or academics.

Now, in looking back, I know that I was re-crafting my own narrative. I know that story telling is a human right. These collected stories cover the nine months of a school year from mid-September through mid-June. They offer the truth of what I have witnessed.

I wrote these tales for my own awakening. I also wrote them for the child in you. May they bring light to us all in a time where the need for light has never been greater.

For those of us who lead from the middle, our best hope at turning things around is to speak our truths so that the unfolding that ends in adulthood remains visible, viable, and vibrant no matter how long we live.


Greg brings more than two and a half decades of service in public education to foster new leaders and to build healthy schools. As principal in four Bay Area schools and now as a director in his district’s central office, he has worked to shape and sustain a team charged with designing, aligning, and implementing a focused effort to bring skill, wisdom, and compassion to every child.

Greg’s experience includes classroom teaching, coaching and program development for a county office of education, and leadership in school-based restructuring. Greg began as a high school teacher in 1984, where he realized that strategic changes to the educational system could yield vastly improved results for children, educators, parents, and the community at large. In 1997, Greg brought his experience as a classroom teacher and a reform coordinator to the Bay Area School Reform Collaborative where he served as Director of the School to Career Initiative. He worked with numerous high schools, district offices, foundations, and county offices to implement innovative reform plans.

Greg earned a Masters Degree in English from San Francisco State University, a leadership degree from CSU Hayward, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from University of California, Santa Barbara. He also served as a board member of the Playworks Board.

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8 Responses to About Me

  1. Steve Francis July 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Hi John
    I’d love to share your post with Principals and teachers across Australia. Could you please email me to advise permission?
    Steve Francis

    • greg January 10, 2014 at 6:19 pm #


      Again, thanks for sharing these. I now have a number of readers in Australia and the posts appear likely to become a book.


      Greg John

  2. adrienne January 10, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

    Love your website!!!!! Had a lot of fun reading through everything. Liked the one about coaching

  3. Tavia March 17, 2015 at 6:48 pm #

    Years ago, we brainstormed what a high school constitution would mean for a learning community. In year twenty-seven of high school teaching, I am still wondering about the
    roles of teachers, students, parents and community stake-holders. While I wonder I am still
    happy to spend my days interacting with teenagers who make me smile, laugh, knit my
    eye brows, and shake my head. I am glad to see that you also are still making a thoughtful difference in kids lives.

    • greg March 17, 2015 at 6:50 pm #

      Tavia. . I’m so glad you found me here, blogging away, still dreaming of what we might do. Clearly it’s a longer road than we ever guessed!

  4. Kevin Merck April 27, 2016 at 10:39 pm #

    Mr John,
    I have to say that you are one of the better influences when I look back on my life thus far. Thanks to you I am able to weave the tales that keep my children entertained and hanging on for their dad’s next story. Because of you I have often times thought of actually writing down one of my stories one day to see what happens.

    Irvington class of 1994

  5. Beth September 2, 2017 at 10:46 am #

    It’s August, and many kids are going back to school. Can I hope that you’ll be coming back to my in-box soon? I have dearly missed your posts.

    Hope all is well in your world. You are a treasure.
    Best wishes,
    – Beth

    • Beth September 2, 2017 at 10:47 am #

      Oops, September now!

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