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Posts by Deborah Costello

Deborah Costello is a teacher and the Mathematics Department Chair at Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, Florida. She also serves as a consultant for the College Board. Her passions include leadership, mathematics, education, service, and triathlons. She's also a co-author of The Character Based Leader: Instigating a Leadership Revolution... One Person at a Time.

How Should Schools Deal with Academic Dishonesty?


I want to ask you a question about educational policy.   A colleague shared this blog post by Dr. Justin Tarte of the Union R-XI school district. The post describes the district’s policy for handling academic dishonesty including cheating and plagiarism. The High School policy, as described in the student handbook (pp. 35-36) is to treat the » Read More


Why Nobody Wants To Be A Hero


Last weekend I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy, in my mind a silly action/adventure film starring some second tier comic book characters.  I expected to be amused and entertained and I was.   The characters in the film were heroes in that they did, reluctantly, save the universe.  They were also conniving, sarcastic, opportunistic, » Read More


Is Different Better?


Ok… here’s how it works.  First I tell you a story.  Then I ask you some questions.  Then you answer in the comment section.  It’s like a discussion where people exchange ideas, and we all learn something.  Perhaps you have heard of it before. It’s fun.  Let’s play. For a long time I was the » Read More


Ultimate Leadership


The ultimatum game is often played in economic experiments in which two players interact to decide how to divide a sum of money that is given to them. The first player proposes how to divide the sum between the two players, and the second player can either accept or reject this proposal. If the second player rejects, » Read More


The Pleasure of Your Company is Requested


My plane landed in Las Vegas after 9pm, and we were late. I was traveling on business and tired, but excited to spend some time in Las Vegas at the beautiful Red Rock Resort. When I tried to check in an hour later, I was told that there were no rooms ready, but they generously » Read More


Discriminating Leadership


Imagine for a minute you are meeting someone new. You get together for coffee and start to talk, to learn about each other, to share personal information. You reveal something important about yourself, thinking it will help your new friend understand you better. You say, I am a Christian, a republican, a veteran, a doctor, » Read More


Finding My Way Home


“Call it a clan, call it a tribe, call it a family…  Whatever you call it, you need one.”  ~Jane Howard A few years ago a few women and I started doing triathlons as a hobby.  It was a means to focus on fitness, a new and exciting way to push our limits.  One race » Read More


Biting My Tongue


“The language we use to communicate with one another is like a knife.  In the hands of a careful and skilled surgeon, a knife can work to do great good.  But in the hands of a careless or ignorant person a knife can cause great harm.”  ~author unknown **Author’s note.   This post is about language » Read More


On Penn State and Leadership


I was having dinner with my family last weekend, and we got to talking about the tragic events at Penn State. My 14-year-old son firmly expressed his opinion. He essentially explained that Joe Paterno should have been allowed to coach through the rest of the season. During the conversation he mentioned things like, “greatest coach » Read More


Causing a Flap


A long time ago, say 500 BCish, there was a mathematical society known as the Pythagoreans, with Pythagorus (of Pythagorean Theorem fame) as the front man.  The society was a combination of intellectual study and religious belief and most people of the time really didn’t understand much about their ideas.  The impact of this work » Read More

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