BOYNE CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Karen James, Principal
Boyne City High School
1035 Boyne Ave.,
Boyne City, MI 49712
231-439-8100, Fax: 231-439-8194
Letter of Recommendation for Jim Tuman
It is a complete honor for me to write this letter on behalf of Jim. I am quite certain that in my 30 year career in education, I have heard a minimum of 60 motivational speakers, either at teacher orientations or student leadership opportunities. There is no doubt in my mind that Jim is the very best I have ever heard.
Earlier this school year we had the good fortune of bringing Jim to Boyne City. The first night he arrived, he led a community coalition brainstorming session, at which he could better "learn our community" and help us to identify top issues and needs of our community. Jim has an almost uncanny ability to gain trust and respect immediately by virtue of the depth of his knowledge on issues facing today's teens, and community in general. Through his leadership that evening, we were able to identify the top needs that he in turn incorporated into his speech to our entire student body the next day. You could have heard a pin drop at any point during the student assembly. Moreover, their response to Jim was unprecedented. Even our "hardest" kids lined up to give Jim a hug and hang around to chat with him. It was actually very emotional for many of them AND for us as a staff.
Jim delivers a message of hope, love, and compassion for our fellow human beings. "The greatest things in life aren't things," and "At the end of your life, it's not about how much money you've made or what you've become, it's about the relationships you've had with others along the way" are the two strong themes that underscore all that Jim brings to his presentations. I believe that the reason he has such an impact on all that he presents to is that he is clearly genuine in every regard. Young people, even more so than adults, have the ability to see through hypocrisy or "plastic people". When you hear Jim speak and get to know him as a person, you fully realize that there is nothing artificial about him -- it truly comes from his heart, and he has a heart much bigger than life itself.
On the evening of the school assembly, Jim came in one more time to meet with the community forum to help us orchestrate "Ok, now what?" to help guide our group in the right direction, and develop an action plan. I became aware of the fact that Jim had done a very similar thing in Zeeland, MI for my alma mater. When I contacted a counselor from there, I think he summed it up nicely when he said "There is very little that is more special than getting your community Tumanized." As a community, we are still in the process of implementing the plan that Jim helped us to make, and there is no doubt that the mark Jim left on Boyne City will remain for untold years to come.
I feel privileged to be able to consider Jim a true friend, just in the brief time that I got to know him while he was here, and I happen to know that my son (who graduated this year) looks at Jim as one of the biggest influencers in his life -- he was able to hear him speak at a HOBY conference three years ago. The biggest reason we strived for three years to get Jim here, is because my son wouldn't stop talking about him. It is with only the highest regards that I recommend Jim for any speaking engagement, and I wish him only the very best! Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.
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