Craig Lindvahl's visionary CEO program is now taking applications for 2021!
In 2010 a strange man walked into firefly accompanied by some high school kids and asked if Niall and I would be willing to sink our restaurant and half of our customers with it. We didn’t realize at that moment what a treat we were in for - together with Craig and his amazing group of kids, we would go on to create one of the most memorable nights in the history of firefly. We had no idea if it would work and we didn’t know if anyone would even be interested in dressing up in the dead of winter to simulate the sinking of the world’s most famous ship. That is the beauty of CEO: it isn’t about the outcome, it isn’t about doing it perfectly, it is about the journey and the gifts of learning along the way. 

Incredibly, we three managed to sink the Titanic twice during our decades long friendship and frankly, there isn't much I wouldn't have done if Craig had asked me; I trust and love him with my whole heart - his wife, Beth, too. These amazing people remind me everyday of the kind of person that I want to be, of the kind of teacher I want to be. Buckeye Friends School would not exist without Craig. He was my first mentor in education, and our school is named in honor of him and his incredible Buckeye story. 
Craig tells another story about laser beams and how life isn’t anything like them. In his book,  Things You Wish You Knew Yesterday,  Craig has a chapter about how non-linear life is and he uses Niall and my life as an example. It turns out that he was accurate and prophetic as well. If you had asked me 20 years ago for the probability that I would found a school someday, I would have answered "zero, there is zero probability that I will ever found a school." Schrödinger was more accurate and as it turns out, the probability was one. Though I am not a cat person, I do hope the one in the box did not die on my behalf.  

Buckeye Friends School is a manifestation of Craig’s teaching. Our program works a lot like his CEO program: we take down the walls between classroom and community, we give our kids the liberty to pursue their own passions, and we allow our learners the freedom to make mistakes because we know that failure is not the opposite of success, it is an integral part of it. So when the Effingham CEO Board reached out and asked if I would be willing to serve, I was honored to help. I love Craig and believe completely in his program, he embodied service above self and I want to be like him.

Having worked with many of Craig’s CEO students, I know firsthand the impact this program has on the lives of those with the moxie to pursue it. The crowd that gathered to honor Craig on Saturday included many of the best prepared and capable youth our community will ever enjoy. The engaged, self-directed-project-based-experiential-learning they experienced in the CEO program helped them develop into humans who know who they are and what they love.
Effingham’s CEO Program is taking applications now for next year. We encourage any juniors interested in discovering what their Buckeyes are or learners wanting to uncover the best of themselves to apply  here  for this incredible opportunity. 

Thank you, Craig, for sharing your vision with us. Our community is so much richer for it. Your legacy lives on in all of us.