Years before joining Smoky Hill Education Service Center as one of its newest consultants, John Girodat was a high school principal having a difficult conversation with a teenager about to drop out of high school.

“I asked him if there was anything we could have done to avoid that conversation,” Girodat said, recalling, “And he gave me one of the best insights I’ve ever heard.”

He had given up on school in third grade, when he realized that if he was ahead of his classmates he would just be given “busy work” or sit around because they wouldn’t be getting to the next topic until tomorrow. He wasn’t pushed, or even allowed, to dig deeper and explore his strengths.

On the other hand, if he

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