John Dodig recently retired from being the Principal of one of the most well-respected high schools in our country, Staples High School. Mr. Dodig began his tenure at Staples in 2003, and he acted with resolve and passion to ensure Staples High School remained one of the most revered high schools for its teachers, advanced academics, multi-championship sports, and nationally renowned theater program. In 2008, Connecticut Magazine named Staples High School “#1 High School in the State.” Staples was also recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education in 2013.
However, John Dodig started his life in less than celebrated circumstances. In fact, he came from a large, dysfunctional family, that was not particularly well-to-do, and did not appear to be understanding of John’s sensitivity and depth. Realizing he was gay at the age of 5 created an even more pronounced sense of feeling different and disenfranchised. Battling inner conflicts and the difficulty of being responsible for his own education, he began a journey that would later come to seen as that of a man who was to discover he was a leader… at first, a leader of other disenfranchised souls… and then, a unifier, and a beacon of industry, ingenuity, activism and advocacy.
Whether focusing on the issue of diversity, equality, education, mentoring, or community it is clear John Dodig welcomes anyone and everyone who wants to be a part of his dreaming and action… and, it is also clear to the many who have needed a helping hand that John Dodig is that leader that makes the difference… with a marine mentality that focuses on potential and the credo, “Leave no one behind,” the people in John Dodig’s life have no choice but to be encouraged, and as a result of their association with him find themselves the better for it.