If you had asked me two weeks ago what my life was going to be like, I never could have imagined this. My name is Susan Staat and two weeks ago, I was a first grade teacher in a small school district in Ceres, California. (You haven’t heard of Ceres? We are just south of Modesto.) In the past two weeks, I have conquered my fear of flying, been just minutes away from the White House but didn’t see it, spent time in four states, had incidents in two elevators and broke into one car. Why so much excitement in such a short time? I was hired as your new DEN field manager for northern California and my nickname is “Trouble.” I’ve had people call me “Trouble” for many, many years, but it really isn’t my fault! I don’t try to cause trouble…it kind of just finds me…honestly. Don’t get me wrong, the first week and a half with Discovery has been a blast, just a little scary too. I have taught elementary school for fifteen years, I’ve taught Professional Growth classes for teachers with the University of San Diego, I’ve been interviewed on the radio and heard nationwide (twice!), I’ve done mentoring and master teaching and presenting in multiple states. I didn’t think it was possible to scare me! But, this is a whole new world – one that I had preferred to drive in rather than fly. While a small dose of anti-anxiety medication helped with that first flight to Maryland, my biggest fear right now is not knowing how to meet your needs. I want to hear from you…send me an email just to say “Hi”…let me know how I can help you…let me know if I can come by your school district for a visit! I look forward to you sharing your projects and successes with me. (And hey, let me know if you’ve ever seen the White House!) I’ll share with you my stories from Portland in the next blog, but in case you were wondering, I will tell you about the first elevator incident: Imagine this if you will, thirteen DEN field managers crammed into one elevator (think phone booth and college), the doors close… someone asks, “What’s the weight limit in this thing?” Suddenly, and without warning, the alarm starts to ring! We all panic and eyes grow wide. Just then, the ringing stops! And then starts AGAIN! One final question, “Whose backside is pressing the alarm button?” I just smile, I’m in the middle of the pack and for once, I’m not the one causing the trouble!