Saying good-bye to our elementary school principle AND real estate - Conway, MO

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Debbie DiFonzo - United Country VIP Realty, SW Missouri

Ezard Elementary


I've written this post a hundred times in my mind.

It's been six weeks and I still can't get it down, not really.

It's too hard to say good bye.

May 23rd was our last day of regular school at Conway Elementary in Conway, Missouri. The following Tuesday, we started summer school and today, the 3rd of July, our summer school came to a close.

Our long time principle is now officially retired. We said our good byes, teary eyed.

I don't think Mr. Hibbs will be surprised should he read this post - I think he would expect me to relate his departure to real estate. Mr. Hibbs is a lover of people and children - I spent many hours trying to convince him real estate should be his next calling.

I finally realized how I could write a post about Mr. Hibbs - I had to relate the experience to real estate.

When I first *saw* Mr. Hibbs, we had just moved to Missouri. My son was a new born; my daughter getting ready to go into pre-school. We have a Lebanon, MO address, so I called about the screening process. I was told we were not in Lebanon schools, but in the Conway district; I should call there.

I called the school and had a nice chat. I was encouraged to stop by, fill out the necessary forms and have a little visit.

A few days later, I made my way up to the elementary school, unannounced.  I just happened to time my visit to the end of school. Buses were lined up in front, preparing for the their passengers.

I stepped into the foyer just in time to see ordered chaos.

Two halls meet by the front doors, the main office at the corner. Out side the office was a taller gentleman, standing, smiling, giving high-5's to the older kids, hugs to the younger ones. This stranger to me knew every child s name. He told them to have a good night, asked quickly about their test and reminded them to behave on the bus.

This first impression of Mr. Hibbs has stayed with me, to this day, like it happened only yesterday. It was a powerful statement to the man, to the principle and to the school. That first impression was positive and long lasting.

I remind you that the first impression of your home, your land, your office is also long lasting. It's important to make it a positive one. You never know what little action, what little thing, may have the greatest impact of all. The weeds in the front flower bed, the broken step, a missing window - is that the first impression you want your buyer to leave with? The lush green lawn, the new gutters and roof, the new tile flooring in the kitchen - is that the lasting impression of your home your buyer will leave with?

Everyday should be a good day. Mr. Hibbs wanted every child to have a good day. Do you want you, your Team and your clients to have a good day, every day? To your actions help lead them that way?

Mr. Hibbs had no idea he was going to have a visitor that day. And, really, who was I? I was a new comer to this area. I knew no one. It didn't matter. What I saw that day was ever lasting, not only in my mind, but in the actions of Mr. Hibbs.

The selfish part of doesn't want to see someone else giving those high-5's. But I know Mr. Hibbs has earned his right of retirement. He has earned his right to go fishing whenever he wants to. He can take the boat out on the lake without a second thought.

So, thank you Mr. Hibbs for great memories and a positive experience.  I know each and every child in the Conway school district has their own lasting - positive - impression.

Mr Tom Hibbs

Mr. Hibbs, dressed as MAP Man.


Teachers thow water balloons at MAP Man.

Final words

Final words of wisdom by Mr. Hibbs, aka MAP Man

A final hug


                                                                                A final MAP Man hug.



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TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Debbie. good localism post... I am sure that you will miss a great guy... Happy 4th...

Jul 03, 2008 10:39 PM #1
Debbie DiFonzo
Debbie DiFonzo - United Country VIP Realty, SW Missouri - Lebanon, MO
Lebanon MO and Buffalo Missouri Real Estate

Michael - Hope you had a wonderful and safe 4th. Yes, we'll miss our principle - he is a great guy... Now, if I can only talk him into selling real estate with us!

Jul 05, 2008 06:24 AM #2
Sondra Meyer:
Colorado Springs, CO
See It. Experience It. Live It.

What a nice tribute to Mr. Hibbs. 

Our high school principle, Ron Fox,  retired at the end of the school year also.  Although I didn't know him as well as you know Mr. Hibbs, we will miss him.  My boys first had him as a P.E teacher in elementary school.  By the time, the oldest made it to high school, he was the principle.     

Jul 05, 2008 02:11 PM #3
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Debbie DiFonzo

Lebanon MO and Buffalo Missouri Real Estate
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