Dr. Quintin Shepherd

Dr. Quintin Shepherd

One day, a shepherd is sitting on a rock minding his own business when a decked-out Range Rover comes flying over the hill and screeches to a stop just in front of the shepherd. A man in an Armani suit and designer shades jumps out and says, “Hey, I’ve got a great idea. If I can tell you how many sheep you have on this farm, can I have one of these sheep?” The shepherd thinks for a moment and says, “Sure, why not?”

The man opens the trunk of his car and pulls out the Wi-Fi and GPS uplink. He takes out a laptop and downloads and uploads, and within seconds he reports, “You have 146 of these fine animals on your property.”

“Impressive,” says the shepherd. The man grabs the first animal he sees and throws it in the trunk of his vehicle and is about to leave when the shepherd says, “If I can guess what you do for a living, can I have that animal back?” The man thinks for a moment and says, “Sure.” Without missing a beat, the shepherd says, “You’re a consultant.” The man is astounded. “How did you know?” he said.

“Well,” the Shepherd says, “three reasons. First, you showed up unannounced and uninvited. Second, you told me something I already knew. And third, you don’t have the foggiest idea what you’re talking about. Now, can I have my dog back?”

I love this joke, and not just because I’m in it. I love this joke because it imbues what I believe to be true about tapping our own resources to do the work that needs to be done. I have always believed our greatest resource comes from within, and it is why I am so fervently committed to the work of our task forces for helping craft a vision for our schools.

I’m looking forward to sharing some of the next steps after our task forces meet Sept. 11.

Dr. Shepherd is the superintendent of the Victoria Independent School District.

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