Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dr. Paul Semendinger ~ guest post and his book ~ Principal Sam and the Calendar Confusion

Warning this book is for children.
If you're an adult ~ Well…You’ve been warned.
On the other hand - if you are a parent - you might want to take a look.

TITLE: Principal Sam and the Calendar Confusion
RELEASE DATE: February 14, 2017
AUTHOR: Paul Semendinger, Ed.D
ISBN: 978-1542790963
IMPRINT: Sunquills
CATEGORIES: Children’s Books/Holidays


Dr. Semendinger has been a passionate child-centered educator for almost 30 years. He first enjoyed a successful career as a middle school history earning numerous awards including “Teacher of the Year” and the prestigious “A+For Kids” grant before moving on to administration. Dr. Semendinger has served as a high school vice principal, a middle school principal, and is currently the principal of the most wonderful elementary school in the whole world!

Dr. Semendinger has enjoyed working in various professional organizations including serving as the President of the New Jersey Middle School Association. In addition to the above, Dr. Semendinger has worked for the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and he has served as an adjunct college professor at both Ramapo College and William Paterson University.

An enthusiastic presenter, Dr. Semendinger brings his passion for children to his positive, happy, and engaging presentations.  As an accomplished public speaker, Dr. Semendinger has successfully presented workshops at many conferences including those run by the New England League of Middle Schools, STEMCON, the New Jersey Middle School Association, the Madison Institute, local ASCD Chapters, and many others. 

Dr. Semendinger is also an accomplished writer. His first book of motivational passages, “Impossible is an Illusion” will be released in June 2017 by Ravenswood Publishing.  Dr. Semendinger’s first novel, “Scattering the Ashes” will be released in August 2017 also from Ravenswood. In addition, Dr. Semendinger writes picture books.  His first picture book for children “Principal Sam and the Calendar Confusion” is currently in post-production and should have a 2017 release date.  Dr. Semendinger’s original and unique history of the New York Yankees “The Least Among Them,” is also currently in editorial review.  In additional to his (soon to be) published writing, Dr. Semendinger also frequently publishes on eduTopia and on his highly successful blog.

Dr. Semendinger leads an active life. He enjoys running and, to date, has completed twenty marathons including the New York City Marathon five times.  Dr. Semendinger also plays competitive men’s softball and enjoys backpacking and hiking. He also plays the saxophone and piano (but wishes his skills in those areas were much (much) better.)  (He’s working on it.)  In his free time, Dr. Semendinger enjoys reading, travel, and passionately rooting for the New York Yankees. 

Dr. Semendinger volunteers his time in many ways.  Dr. Semendinger was a three-sport coach (baseball, basketball, and soccer) for sixteen years as his children grew up and was also active in the Boy Scouts where he designed and led outings to historical sites that included Gettysburg, Washington’s Crossing, Valley Forge, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and New York’s Central Park.  Dr. Semendinger has also successfully led two Boy Scout crews through the two-week backpacking experience at Philmont Scout Ranch hiking treks of more than 90-miles. 

Dr. Semendinger also is a daily contributor to the Radio Home Visitor (88.5 FM – Wilkes-Barre, PA) run through King’s College.  The Radio Home Visitor brings news to shut-ins in Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Valley.  Most often Dr. Semendinger reads the daily health column and contributes an inspirational passage as well.

More than all of this, a family man, Dr. Semendinger enjoys and greatly values the time he can spend as a husband and “Dad” with his wife and three sons.  There is nothing he is prouder of than the fact that he is a good dad and husband.

Guest Post  – The Idea for Principal Sam

The idea of the Principal Sam character came as a result of the way I typically talk with students.  I try to be a principal who is accessible to the children.  I try to make personal connections with each child.  At times, I use humor to make kids smile and laugh.  Is there anything more wonderful than a happy child?  A number of years ago, on a holiday, I honestly don’t remember which one it was, I purposely said something silly to a student such as, “I am so glad it’s Valentine’s Day.  I can’t wait to go trick-or-treating.”  The child laughed.  I realized that whenever I say things like this, the children always seem to enjoy it.  I then thought, “There’s a storybook character there – a principal who is kind, and works hard, but who also confuses simple things.”  That is how Principal Sam was born.

I shared my idea with my wife and children who liked the idea.  I then “pitched” the first story, about confusing holidays, to an industry professional who fell in love with the character.  She asked if there were more stories in the series.  I stated that I could come up with as many as she needed.  That night I wrote the first draft of “Principal Sam Gets Fit,” a story where Principal Sam confuses sports.   Soon after, “Principal Sam and the Three Bears” was developed.  The literary professional and I never made a business deal, but I knew then I had a special character that had potential.

One of the great aspects of the Principal Sam stories is that the children are the real heroes.  They have the ideas that allow Principal Sam to find solutions to the things that confuse him.  It is wonderful when adults can learn from children.  This book series highlights that fact.

I next reached out to my good friend, John Fredericks.  Our friendship goes back to our college days together.  He is a great artist.  I asked him if he’d be willing to draw a likeness of Principal Sam.  He created the exact character I envisioned Principal Sam as being.  From there, John became Principal Sam’s illustrator. 

I was so thrilled with Ravenswood Publishing saw the potential in this character and his book series.  While the first books talk about simple things that Principal Sam confuses such as holidays and sports, some books that will be coming out in the near future will deal with serious issues for children including bullying and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineers, and Mathematics) learning.

Principal Sam is a character that children can relate to because they also get confused about simple things.  Because Principal Sam is a character they will grow to love and enjoy, when he does get serious about certain things, like bullying, children will be able to learn from him. 

I am very excited about the future of Principal Sam!  The children in his school help him and he will be able, in turn, to help other children everywhere. 

KEYWORDS: Children’s Books, Kid’s Books, School, Holidays, Principals, School Children, Action/Adventure

How in the world could Principal Sam get his holidays mixed up? The kids at Sunnyside rush to his aid in this adorable picture book that will have your child smiling and laughing with delight.

Principal Sam is the principal at Sunnyside School.  An excellent school leader, Principal Sam works hard to make his school one that is a positive and enjoyable place of learning for children.   There’s only one problem, Principal Sam is forgetful and he often confuses simple things.  When this happens, it’s up to the children and the teachers in the school to come to Principal’s Sam’s assistance.

Sometimes Principal Sam can't remember.. what day it is!

When Principal Sam starts to mix up the holidays, it’s up to the schoolchildren to help him out!

How will Principal Sam learn to keep his holidays straight? Find out inside!


TWITTER: @DrPaulRSem  and   @PrincipalSamBks


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