Year In Review 2019

Year in Review 2019 - The Mafost Monthly Blog for Principals and School Leaders

Isn’t it a great feeling when you finish a chapter, and the plot is moving in the direction you hoped? Some years seem to work like that. Other years, not so much.

The great news is it doesn’t matter. Because, either way, the years are chapters filled with learning.

The years teach much which the days never know.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thankfully, the end of 2019 was a chapter of growth and increased reach for my mission to make life better through education – better for people, culture, and impact on learning.

This annual summary will share some of this year’s story, hopefully, you’ll find value in seeing some of the strategies and results behind my work.

In this Year In Review, you’ll find highlights on:

Executive Summary

The first two quarters of 2019 were devoted to increasing reach, to finding the people who resonate with my work. If you’re reading this Year In Review, then you’re probably who I tried to reach.

Thank you for being a part.

Do you remember the question, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around…

Well, that’s the idea behind the 2019 focus on reach.

The mission, the message, and the resources must first reach people before they can have impact. This year was dedicated to increasing reach while at the same time decreasing ad spend.

Growth in Reach, 2019

TeamTom Education LLC

The company is strong and growing. TeamTom Education LLC is in growth mode with multiple expansions including:

  • Acquiring and creating four new brands in the educational services sector.
  • Developing three new revenue streams.
  • Annual revenue growth of 31%.
  • Acquiring new long-term assets.

We continue to increase the number of students, teachers, schools, principals, and communities served. In 2019, our growth outpaced the majority of educational service companies that are multiple times our size.

Principal Tribe Launch

In January, I initiated a slow roll-out of Principal Tribe with the mission to connect and amplify the voices of educational leaders.

The original plan included 4 simple steps:

  1. Create a Twitter Chat
  2. Online Publishing
  3. Feature Principals Who Are Making Positive Waves
  4. Online Collaborations


The world’s fastest Twitter chat is now 1 year old and we grew from a handful of curious educators to an engaged community that shows up early to have fun, digs deep into a single topic each month, and supports each other’s work in our respective fields.

I’m so thankful for this community, and I really hope it has left a positive impact on you as well!

In 2020, this chat is going to see new ways to connect. Join us at

Online Publishing

It’s my fundamental belief that reverberation is essential. Principal Tribe seeks to act on the belief that voices should be heard, and when so, positive change can result. is an open platform for school leaders and shapers of educational thinking to publish their own perspectives.

In 2020, I intend to expand the platform to include a collaborative creator’s forum.
The forum will allow school leaders and innovators to:

  • Deepen the connections in their professional network.
  • Collaborate on articles.
  • Publish on a growing network of educational media outlets

Principal Perspectives

This year, 15 principals were nominated and featured in the Principal Perspectives. Their work is essential, and it was certainly an honor to highlight their ideas in this publication.

Nominations are already coming in for 2020.

Online Collaborations

What is a Blog Crawl?

In the summer of 2019, we developed the idea of a blog crawl. It was a unique way to collaborate and create with a handful of great educational minds.

See this collaborative post on Staying Focused as a School Leader, which was one of the blog crawl articles.

The process was revised and repeated with great success. In 2020, this process will be an embedded piece of the Principal Tribe creator’s forum.

Principal Tribe Data

The tables below show the number of users this year accessing Principal Tribe services.

Principal Tribe Baseline Data, 2019

If you haven’t explored how Principal Tribe can help you, here’s a good place for school leaders to start.

Lessons Learned

Twenty nineteen was a year of expansion. Many lessons were learned from failures and challenges:

  • Embrace growth when it occurs, even if unplanned.
  • Action is the only true form of knowing, everything else is anticipation or theory.
  • Adjustments don’t equal improvements, plan no-go dates for each adjustment and have the discipline say no when the time comes.
  • Sunk costs are just that. You can’t recover them, and further investments do not increase the probability of success.

I anticipate 2020 to be another year of growth, but more importantly, it’s going to be a year of pruning.

Once the roots are established and the tree has withstood a few growing seasons, further growth is encouraged only by cutting back.

The services and products that have the least impact will cease in 2020. New products and services are already planned and in full development with partners and collaborators to replace the pruned branches.

I look forward to sharing them with you.

Cheers to 2020!


PS – You’re invited to a sneak peek on this new project for principals. Plus there’s a link for you to offer your thoughts on the project’s name.

I appreciate your input!