What's in Your CORE?

What's in Your CORE?
Posted on 11/11/2020
Greg and Gary Goelz hold up copies of their new book

James E. Dottke Principal Greg Goelz Teams with Brother to Write Book


Congratulations to two West Allis-West Milwaukee School District alumni who recently combined efforts to write an educational book together.  Twin brothers, Greg and Gary Goelz, joined forces to write their book entitled, “What’s In Your CORE? An Educator’s Guide to Plugging Into Purpose and Perspectivewhich was released in September.  They wrote it for every K-12 educator and leader in hopes that it will encourage them to feel more fulfilled in their jobs by returning to their purpose, which they refer to as their CORE (Calling Or Reason in Education).


If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Greg Goelz has worked in the district for sixteen years and currently serves as the principal at James E. Dottke Project-Based Learning High School.  He previously served as a school counselor at West Allis Central High School for eight years.  His brother Gary, currently a first grade teacher, has worked in the Muskego-Norway School District for the last fourteen years.  Together, they have over forty years of combined experience working in education.


According to Greg, “Gary and I have spent our entire careers working with children and families in a wide variety of roles and so we wanted to leverage those experiences into writing a book that every educator can relate to. Gary has an amazing professional journey of going from an elementary teacher to a National Blue Ribbon award-winning principal to an assistant superintendent. Then he chose to return to the classroom to have a more immediate impact on children. That path is basically unheard of in education so I am really proud of him for that.”


As for Greg, his career began in the field of social work as an inner-city child welfare case manager. After that he was a Student services Counselor at Central High School.   After being named principal at James E. Dottke High School, he’s been busy leading the transformation of the school into the District’s only fully-functioning project-based learning high school for 9th-12th graders.  The school is now open to any student in the District that wants to learn in a new, innovative, hands-on way.  


The decision to write a book started when Greg approached Gary and proposed the idea as simply a unique life experience they could share together.  After all, how many twins work in the same profession and with the diverse professional experiences they’d had?  Greg and Gary thought that their many roles in education would allow them to connect with any reader.  The brothers agreed to do the project with one stipulation: it would have to be fun.  

“I guess our dedication and true passion as educators just took over and we became very motivated to write a book that would really be beneficial to our peers.  What started out as a shared life experience soon turned into a more serious endeavor,” Gary recalls.  “It took us over two years to plan and write the book and another six months to find a publisher willing to publish it.”  


“The book is not your traditional ‘how to’ book that aims to teach the reader the newest strategies or how to do something different, said Greg.  “We laugh when we tell people that we aren’t trying to teach them anything new in our book.  Instead of trying to teach the reader how to be something or someone they’re not, we want to guide them to fully appreciate the skills and talents that they already have, and return to that version of themselves.”  


“Just like every career out there, we are all at our best when we are using our passions and natural talents,” adds Gary.  “Education isn’t any different, especially during this very strange time in our world.”


Although they’ll be the first ones to admit that they are not the most technical or naturally gifted writers, Greg and Gary reflect back fondly on their developmental years at Hoover Elementary, Frank Lloyd Wright Middle School (it was only 7th & 8th grade back then) and Nathan Hale High School.  “Those were the years where you are exploring new things and trying to make sense of your world.  We had very hard-working and supportive teachers -- people of strong character that motivated us to work hard and reach for our goals.  We are both very grateful for that,” says Greg.


“You really just have to have a story to tell and the drive to tell it,” Gary adds. “Although it’s been a lot of work it’s mostly been fun.  So I guess we met our goal!  After all, that is sort of the entire theme of our book…...that at the core -- you need to keep hold of the joy and fulfillment of being in education.


Since the book came out, Greg ang Gary continue to focus on their work at their prospective schools, while also marketing the book.  “We figure this is a growth experience that we won’t likely have again so we are really trying to enjoy it and ride it out,” said Greg.


Over the past month, the brothers have been guests on four different podcasts about their book and are considering a few others in the near future.  To follow their journey, you can follow them on Twitter @GoelzBrothers and you can also view the school transformation going on at Dottke High School by visiting dottke.com.  Their book can be found HERE



"Rediscovering Your Purpose & Leading With the Learner in Mind."


Podcast #1: https://iheart.com/podcast/269-the-staff-room-with-chey-p-61960310/episode/bonus-episode-4-author-talks-with-gary-and-greg-goelz-73086909?cmp=ios_share&sc=ios_social_share&pr=false…


Podcast #2: (Dropped on 11/3): https://pod.link/1526683932/episode/ZjMxNDk1YWQtZTFlYi00NTllLTg5NmUtZGRkOWQ1OTFiMzg2


Podcast #3:  Already recorded; Drop date TBD