John VanDusen: What’s a Flivver?

Adam DeWittPrincipal Leadership Lab Podcast

Join Jeff & Adam as they get back to some interviews with some even greater people!

John VanDusen BIO:

After returning from my first deployment to Baghdad, I was hired to teach 8th grade in L’Anse, MI, about 90 miles from my hometown. After several years of teaching and coaching, and another deployment, this time to Afghanistan, I was able to move back to my hometown where I teach and coach my beloved Flivvers.

Leadership Journey

8 different schools growing up, dad in Navy

Extrovert, into sports, talking to people

Independent Study as a Senior – began working with a 1st grade teacher

Decided he wanted to go into teaching

Michigan National Guard

Love of coaching came from playing days

Currently MS history teacher, still in Army Reserves, coaches HS football (Flivvers)

Being the “focal point for the community” – football or other family environments created at school

Student more involved typically does better

Win-Win-Win (classroom, field, community)

What is a Flivver?

Kingsford Charcoal (FORD Charcoal Briquette)

Leadership challenge/opportunity

1. Training for Afghanistan

Got a bus of 60 soldiers stuck in a ditch

When something goes wrong, cutting corners is tempting but actually can find you further behind – attention to detail (no good decision comes when heavy emotion is involved)

Vehicle got hit with a roadside bomb – PERSPECTIVE

2. Football getting shut down (coaching)

Needed to handle adversity as it comes rapidly

Don’t freak out, or everyone else will as well.

The Book: Lesson 1 – Leveraging Leadership in Everyday Life

COVID project

Got back from Afghanistan in 2014 – started jotting down notes from his deployments in the Army

Waiting for kids to come on Google Meets, he would have the doc opened, taking notes and thinking about turning it into a book

Saw friends begin to publish books, reached out to COdeBreaker who then referred him to Road to Awesome


Lower the temperature in the country

“It’s a shame, but it’s not new”

Civil conversation and then go about our daily lives


Lesson 1: Buy the Book Here



Twitter: @mr_JVD



Dr. Jeff Prickett

Adam DeWitt


Dr. Jeff Prickett

Adam DeWitt


Principal Leadership Lab

Dr. Jeff Prickett

Adam DeWitt


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