Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA
3 min readOct 5, 2022


What Jimmy did — once a month; every month

He built trust in his high school community — the coin of the realm!

Trust — the coin of the realm

Here’s vignette # 4: What Jimmy did once a month, every month

This set of vignettes is all about TRUST — how to build it, how we need it in schools (and everywhere), how to spot and avoid distrust, etc., etc.

I’ve gathered these vignettes –short, very short stories — over the years from my clients, colleagues, famous people whom I don’t know personally, my own experience, passers-by. You get the picture.

Just call me the “Trust Lady” — after more than 50 years in public education — as a teacher, hearing officer, school attorney, author of 8 books, including Special Education 2.0 and many opinion pieces, including in The Wall Street Journal, Education Week, and other publications, even a traveling salesperson for educational materials, a speaker, reformer, parent, and grandparent, I’ve come to understand that TRUST is, too often, the missing piece in our schools, in our quest for excellent education for all students.

Let me know what you think. Best way to reach me is through my email: miriamkfreedman@gmail.com.

CAVEAT: These posts are intended to be used for general information only. They are not provided as legal or other professional advice. In the event that legal advice is required, the services of an attorney should be sought.

Here’s the latest vignette — # 4 What Jimmy did once a month, every month

Jimmy was the principal of my child’s high school. Sure, “James” or “Jim” or Mr. Jones worked also, but a lot of us called him “Jimmy”. That was fine with him. He was friendly and maye the name helped. He seemed to like everyone. He exuded the sense that he was there for all of us. People trusted him. What a gift! How did he do that?

Part of it was who he was — or at least, who he seemed to be. The other part, however, that helped cement the trust that we had in him was his once-a-month-open-office practice. On a certain day of the month — say, the second Tuesday, from 5–7 PM — Jimmy sat in his office with the door open. Anyone could stop by. No appointment needed. No issue required. You could just walk in and shoot the breeze; or raise a serious concern; or talk sports; or whatever.



Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA, is a reformer, thought leader, lawyer, and author. Check out her book, Special Education 2.0 and her medicine bottle art!