Remembering Dr. Michael Winds

Dear Jersey City Community,
There is obviously much going on in Jersey City Public Schools these days, but the passing of Dr. Winds put that on the back burner. Dr. Winds’ passing also put in all in perspective.
His life and legacy can serve as a guide to how we should approach our work, in times of joy and in times of crises. Whether he was your classmate, your teacher, your principal, your Director or your colleague, there are lessons to remember.
Dr. Winds was the consummate professional. He held on to the “old school” values of respect, honesty, and trust. He understood that he was a role model, for children and adults, and he took that responsibility to heart. He cared deeply for all children, but was passionate in his desire to address the needs of young Black men. He was a quiet, reflective soldier in the battle for equity, knowing his own blessings, and wanting to give back. We once shared the line, “There but for the grace of God…”
He was much more: a father, an athlete, a coach, a mentor, a peacemaker, but for today, I will probably most remember his courage. He was a true fighter. He would not allow himself to be under siege, and through his sheer will he defied expectations. He always believed he could “make it right”, whether dealing with parents, teachers, administrators or his health. He believed it would all work out. He believed in himself and the goodness of others. That’s a powerful lesson for all as we face our current challenges.
Last night I thought of the quote, “Today I will behave as though this is the day for which I will be remembered.” That is how Dr. Winds lived each day, and he will be remembered and missed by legions.
Marcia V. Lyles, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Jersey City Public Schools
Envision Excellence and Equity Everywhere