Jimmy Orange is great guy, like really really great.
Oh, and he's a highly skilled, well-respected, and wildly successful educator, coach, and human. Jimmy combines well-defined, clear, and purposeful expectations and boundaries with humanizing strategies that Michelle Pacansky-Brock herself could be proud of. In doing so, Jimmy has cultivated an environment where he can be a "warm demander" of excellence for his students and athletes, resulting in admirable (and almost unparalleled) levels of student motivation, engagement, commitment, and retention. We credit part of his success to his personality and the fact that he is like super duper likeable and fun to be around, but he backs this up with knowledge about and execution of educational and learning methods and techniques and a sincere and heartfelt commitment to his students and athletes and their success.
Jimmy also shares his connection to his history, culture and roots, hailing from New Zealand, and being a part of the Māori culture. Our discussion left us feeling so inspired by how seemingly seamlessly synthesized (say that 5 times without stopping!) the Kiwi and Māori culture are, and how knowledge and learning about their shared history is deeply woven into the fabric of the school system and teachings. It gives us something to strive for, something to work towards, and something to be excited about. It feels a bit like a preview of what real and meaningful truth and reconciliation can look and feel like if we all commit to being a part of positive and real action and change.