I have worked with students for the past 43-plus years as a teacher, coach and principal. It has been a joy to have an impact on so many students and teachers.

If you ask any of my former students about some famous Briscoe quotes, I believe you would hear some of these mentioned: “Make it a great day,” “Monday is the best day of the week,” “Nice bike,” “No bump-and-grind dancing” and “Good morning,” while holding a cup of coffee and giving some free advice.

The words “free advice” mean a lot to me. I have given 35 graduation speeches and always say I am going to spend five minutes giving 18-year-old seniors some free advice. I then try to tell the 18-year-old soon-to-be graduates something they don’t already know!

Think of the people in your lives you have received free advice from. Your parents and siblings gave you free advice starting very early in life. If you are lucky enough to still have your parents on earth, they may still be giving you free advice. Hopefully, they are a great resource to you before you make a very important decision.

The Franciscan Sisters worked hard with me in elementary school. I don’t think they ever asked me if I wanted any free advice. They just gave it to me. On many days in school, I received more free advice, feedback, redirection and adjustment then I thought I needed or could remember. But, as I look back, there was a pattern to the Sister’s logic. The free advice and lessons they taught me have stayed with me my entire life. They taught me the value of kindness and to always include everyone in any game we played at recess.

I got involved in athletics at a very early age. I lived near a park where we played one organized sport a season. For the most part, we as kids were the ones in charge of the activity. We created the rules, enforced the rules and made sure that everyone played in the game. No one was ever left out. When the game was over, we shook hands and agreed on a time to resume the game that night or the next day.

Through the years many coaches really impacted me in teaching me about being a good sport, working hard at practice, and to always remember that when you wore any uniform, you were representing much more than yourself. You represented all of your teammates, the school and the alumni who had come before you.

They inspired me through their free advice and their stories to become a teacher and a coach. I have loved being a principal, but I can tell you I still miss the brotherhood of being a coach. The connection created between coaches and the players is very strong.

As you live your life, remember we all have the opportunity to impact our children, our neighbors and all others in any vocation or organization that we are involved in with giving our free advice.

The best advice gives a positive message. As the sender, we also need to model the free advice we give to others. Think of advice as a road map. It leads to upcoming decisions, future opportunities, chances to change directions and to follow dreams.

Chuck Briscoe is principal of Guardian Angels Catholic School in Chaska.

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.