Honoring our Little Angel: My #OneWord2016 Resilience

In reflecting back on 2015 and preparing for 2016, it was very difficult to narrow down the most applicable words to describe my current leadership role, my responsibilities, and my life in general.  Words that came to mind included perseverance, strength, and empower, among others. 

On New Year’s Day, our family endured a devastating experience.  We lost our baby girl unexpectedly at a 22-week ultrasound appointment.  Needless to say, we were sad and in disbelief.

For months, my wife would whisper the words “little one” in a calm, soothing, and charming voice.  It brought smiles to all our faces in thinking that we would have a little sister for our boys.  This week, we have struggled to find strength in such a tragic loss to our family.  Our “little one” became our “little angel” hence the chosen name, Angelina.  In addition to the support we continue to receive from our family and friends,  I also personally look at other ways to find resilience.

In 2016, I intend to live the word “resilience” in my current administrative role, my marathon training, and in my life overall.  I also intend to develop this quality in others:  my family, friends, colleagues, and anyone else that crosses my path.  I hope to inspire others with my story.

I build resilience through running.  In reflecting on our family’s misfortune, strength will come from it.  During my marathon training in 2016, Angelina’s footprints will be hanging from my laces, with me every step I take.  As a life goal, I intend to run 22 marathons to represent the 22 weeks of joy that our family experienced before saying goodbye to our baby girl.

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As a visionary, instructional leader, it is my goal in 2016 to provide my middle school with a sense of resilience when confronted with challenges. This is not always a smooth process; and this is where resilience will carry us through.  With the many pressures of classroom teachers, it is crucial for leaders to have open eyes and open hearts, which in my mind can develop a shared resilience among staff.

It’s the support that leaders provide when difficult situations arise that strengthen the staff, the school, and most importantly, impact student learning.  This is resilience.  An administration that embraces change and values input develops resilience.  A school climate that involves all stakeholders and welcomes all ideas and opinions promotes resilience.   

In 2016, we need resilience.  As a student, I never gave up.  As a full scholarship track runner, I never gave up.  As a coach, I never gave up.  Likewise, as an educator, I will not give up.  And lastly as a parent, I will not give up.  No matter what adversity we face in our lives, we must develop the quality of resilience and the most important method to do so is to involve a group of people who support each other.  Whether it be family and friends or a school overall, resilience carries us through.

In 2016, be #Resilient.  #OneWord2016  RIP #AMLongo


About Dr. Chris Longo

Principal, Schaghticoke Middle School, New Milford, CT
This entry was posted in Leadership. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Honoring our Little Angel: My #OneWord2016 Resilience

  1. Sarah Herring says:

    Beautifully said.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kim says:

    You are an amazing person; thanks for being part of my professional life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kim Foss says:

    Chris and Family,
    It is hard to offer words of understanding, when you know you cannot understand the depth of the sorrow. There is One who does understand. May HE walk with you in the days ahead…
    Sometimes windows are opened when doors are closed. I pray you all fly through when one does!
    God Bless, Kim Foss, Schaghticoke

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beth says:

    Inspiring. With love, Beth

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gina Bernard says:

    Beautifully written. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dawn says:

    Thinking of you and your family, Chris. Your words show a maturity and strength that is to be admired.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lisa Mosey says:

    Chris, words cannot do any justice to let you know how sorry I am for your loss. Reading your blog brought me to tears. However, your word “resilience” is quite appropriate for you and your family and I am sure you will persevere in all that you do and you will carry the memory of your “angel” for life…..Personally, I feel we were extremely lucky to have you come here as an administrator and look forward to making SMS the great community it can be! Thanks for all your support!! L. Mosey

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Carol A. says:

    You words are touching and will touch so many. I feel fortunate to have you in my sphere of life. My best thoughts to you and your family! What an inspiration Angelina IS!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jill Ross says:

    Chris, this is perfectly said and truly an inspiration to others, especially those who have experienced similar losses . Thinking of you and your family and proud to be a member of your school community.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. michelleminto says:


    My heart aches for you and your family; that said, I know everyone here at SMS anxiously awaits your return. I hope you can find comfort when you reflect on the abundance of positivity and change you have already brought to our school, the staff and students. Thank you for your leadership and your resilience. You are already having a lasting impact on our community, and I look forward to seeing what 2016 has in store for us!

    Side note: When I was 21, after spending most of my life obese and unhealthy, I shed 120 lbs and set a goal of running a marathon before I turned 30. Then, life happened, the way it does. And I got sidetracked. I am turning 31 next month. Still no marathon. Reading your posts inspires me, not only as an educator, but as a runner.

    New goal: Run a marathon before the end of 2016. Oh yeah, and stick with goals, even after missing deadlines.


    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mary M says:

    Your family is in my prayers. Your spirit brightens our school making it a happier community. Thank you for being giving of yourself so generously.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Tammy Bass says:

    There are no words that can be said on the lose of your an angel. Please know that the love and support of those around will help to ease your pain.
    Your strength, grace and resiliency in life are inspiring, We are blessed to have your leadership. May we all the resiliency that you have to carry out or goals.

    Wishing you and your family peace and many blessings throughout this coming year.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Janie Mata says:

    This is beautiful Chris. Good luck in your 22 marathons.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Debbie Tierney says:

    So sorry for your terrible loss, Chris. Thinking of you and your family and sending prayers your way.


  15. Wanda Paiva says:

    Beautifully said..I know you and your family feels sadden ..but they say things happen for a reason..And it’s great that you will run in 22 marathons in rememberence of her .Thinking of you and your family again and this difficult time…


  16. Becca Lienhardt says:

    So sorry for your loss, your boys are always so happy and positive in gymnastics, always smiling and always laughing. You’re a great parent, you are resilient.


  17. What a touching reflection. So sorry for you and your precious family. We lost a daughter at 26 weeks. Your daughter will always be part of your family. We live believing that “God knows.” Your daughter is in His hands. You WILL see her one day. It will be glorious!!!


  18. Vinnie says:

    I am deeply sorry for the loss you and your family have endured. I look forward to working with you this year in helping students stay on course. #Resilient


  19. Stephanie Proli says:

    Chris, I admire your strength and resolve as you deal with this tragedy in your life. May the support of family and friends serve to give you the hope and resilience needed to achieve your goal. I’ll be cheering for you and your family.


  20. Our family sends our prayers and love to you and your family. Your commitment to the New Milford school system is anazing. You are an amazing educator. We are blessed to have you. We will carry your family in our thoughts. And we will honor you all through resilience in our lives,


  21. Diana Orozco says:

    Dear Dr. Longo,
    I’m an NMHS ’14 graduate, and I just wanted to say that your words are inspiring; I wish only the best for you and your family. Thank you for everything you brought to our school, staff and students.
    Much love,


  22. The Murphy family says:

    Dear Dr. Longo,
    Our hearts break for you and your family. May your faith and strength help you through this tragic time. Your Angel will always be with you.


  23. Mikki harkin says:

    Sms is blessed to have an educator such as you in assisting to run our schools. I saw your love of students at NMHS and now my son is lucky to have you at SMS. What an incredible way of honoring Angelina….


  24. Tammy Hopp says:

    Beatifully written. We are sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in our prayers.


  25. Joy Clarkson says:

    Prayers and only heartfelt wishes to you and your entire family on the loss of your little angel. Know you all are in my prayers.
    Joy Clarkson


  26. Eddie Mason says:

    Mr. Longo, thank you for sharing you story. My wife and I would like to offer you free entry into our marathon. It is the Running The Shoals Marathon and Half Marathon in Muscle Shoals, AL. The charity focus for our event is Shoals Sav-A-Life, an organization devoted to counseling and caring for expecting women and their unborn children. We would love to discuss the possibility with you at your convenience.


  27. Pingback: Angelina Marie: Always in our Hearts – Angelina's Footprints

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