One Year with Cancer complete. Twenty to go!

One year ago I had a medical procedure as part of a thirty plus year maintenance plan related to Crohn’s Disease. A flex scope was performed by my Gastroenterologist and his team of medical professionals. This “procedure” consisted of a camera traveling up my backside through the colon/intestines snapping pictures not appropriate for any form of social media. One year ago I woke up from anesthesia to my Doctor’s voice saying, “Jon, you have a tumor. I’m sorry, but you have cancer.” Still reeling from that diagnosis, just a few days later…


Medical Leave Mimosas

Have you ever wondered what a doctor recommended medical leave looks like? Imagine leisurely days sitting by a pool sipping mimosas and eating bon bons. The key word in that last sentence is imagine, as in imaginary. Medical leave, at least my version, has not yet reached those leisurely levels.

Before I pull back the curtain on what a medical leave actually looks like, let me try to explain why my doctors believe a medical leave is in my best interest. For over 30 years I have danced with an adorable little ailment called Crohn’s Disease. This…


The Calm during the Storm

There is a surreal calm in the eye of a storm. A false sense of security that creates nervous laughs and smiles in hopes of declaring victory over stormy seas. There is also the understanding that on the horizon lurks the next unrelenting, unforgiving waves of torment. No person or group has a monopoly on the “figurative” storm. Each storm is personal and daunting. Whether the storm represents Cancer, Diabetes, Depression, Grief, Heart Disease, Crohn’s, Colitis, Paralysis, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Addiction or any of a thousand other ailments, they are a constant reminder to those effected…


Broken Shells are Perfectly Imperfect — My Superintendent Journey

For many school corporations around the country the school year has ended or is poised to do so in the next few weeks. I want to apologize to all my fellow educators not just across the US, but around the globe. I am pretty sure I jinxed everyone because at some point last July, I foolishly said out loud that “This school year had to be easier than the Covid shortened 2020.” My bad.

This school year has taught me to be thankful for all the “Perfectly Imperfect” days. As a…


Cancer Eyes

I began my personal cancer journey on September 22nd, 2020. I woke up groggy from a colonoscopy with my gastroenterologist and wife staring at my “angelic face.” (Angelic Face has NOT been Fact Checked) My gastro doctor was saying words, but I wasn’t comprehending. Something about a tumor…sending it for testing…pretty sure it was cancer. Wait…what did he say? Did he just say the C word? Did he say the word that people whisper when talking about someone else? Did he really just say I have cancer? …


On Monday March 2nd of 2020, I started my position as the Superintendent of Salem Community Schools. On Monday March 16th I introduced myself in person to all district staff members. “Hi, I’m Jon, I’m your new Superintendent… I’m really excited to be here and oh by the way…. we are closing.”

You know that phrase, “You have to be kidding me?” I think leaders of all professions around the globe have been living that phrase since last march. To be honest, anyone in the field of education, regardless of position has been saying, “You have to be kidding me”…


“It will all smooth out in a couple weeks.” That advice was given to me by Mr. Dennis Stockdale, Superintendent of East Washington Schools. I have laughed many times with Mr. Stockdale since he gave me that nugget. The two week window for things to “smooth out” professionally and personally seems to constantly be extended. Reflecting on that meeting one year ago, gave me the focus of this blog….My Table of Influence.

Each of us have people that have encouraged, supported, challenged and assisted us in our personal and professional journeys. They sit at our personal or professional Table of…


Cancer is Cruel — My Superintendents Journey

The path of being a Superintendent is not linear. It does not go from point A, to point B, to point C and so on with predictable ease. The path is more like going forward, backwards, up, down, sideways, upside down and even turning in circles. It varies by day depending upon the phone call, text message, email, visit, meeting or event. Even the order of blog topics adjusts depending upon outside factors. My last piece left off describing the beginning of school shut-downs last March due to Covid. Today I jump ahead…


Let me tell you a funny story. I have to start that way, or I might just cry. On March 2nd, 2020 I officially became the Superintendent of Salem Community Schools in Salem Indiana. (Note that start date) This was a career and a position I never dreamed I would pursue.

Like many teenagers, I knew more then my parents. My parents were career educators, mom an elementary teacher and dad a high school administrator. They were hard working, well respected and the all time favorites for too many students, parents and colleagues to count. The life I knew growing…


My name is Jon Acton. Until recently I defined myself by somewhat normal categories…husband, father, son, brother. Professionally a school Superintendent, life-long educator, former football coach. For over thirty years I have been a “varsity” level Crohns disease fighter continually battling a draining, but doable illness. However at the end of September, what I had considered my “normal” changed. I now have Cancer.

The range of emotions that the word cancer creates is difficult to fully express. Fear, anger, humility, confusion, frustration, hope and hopelessness all constantly swirling. The yearning that this must be a bad dream repeats itself every…

Jon Acton

Husband, Father, School Superintendent

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