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Monday, October 17, 2016

Superintendent Departure

This morning those teaching and learning in my school system learned that our superintendent will retire at the end of the year. Upheaval like this always comes with trepidation. Our superintendent has not been in the system that long. However he's been there long enough to create patterns that we now follow and rely on.

As an educator, I've worked with three superintendents throughout my tenure. Each person brought his/her signature to the position, and during each tenure, I was at a very different point in my career.

I hope that the next superintendent will bring our school some of the same administrative practices of the past and some new practices too.

I hope the next superintendent will continue the practice of fiscal organization and transparency that has surfaced in the last few years. This financial organization has made our system easier to understand and serves betterment. I also hope the new superintendent will continue the process of goal setting and strategic process that has been so helpful during our current administrative term and has resulted in some positive changes. Further our current superintendent has brought a measured approach to the position which has provided stability in our system. And, we have a terrific China-USA exchange program in place that broadens everyone's world view.

With change, I hope that our new superintendent takes on an open, transparent attitude as he or she embraces the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) with other systems across the state and country. With this, it would be great to have a superintendent that readily shares information and acts with transparency and inclusion with regard to the voices of the entire learning community. Too often, in the past in systems and organizations everywhere, there has not not an attitude or action of openness, but with the onset of technology, we notice that greater levels of transparency are emerging and that transparency is promoting better effort and growth as well as more inclusive learning/teaching environments.

In many ways, our school system is an ideal system to lead. It's in a small town filled with dedicated students, parents, and citizens--people who care about their children and education. That's the single greatest reason why I've stayed in the system for 31 years. Most of the educators and administrators in our system stay for their entire career due to the fair salaries and good working conditions. Also, in many ways, we've been able to forward new ideas too, and this is an area that I hope will continue. Further we have a state-of-the-art high school which is the result of tremendous deep, thoughtful, and creative efforts by administration, faculty, and community members.

Like every system and individual we're not without areas for growth too--areas that may serve to promote even better work, work that elevates the many individuals at many levels who teach and work in the system.

Change is the one constant we may all rely on, and this surprising change demonstrates that. I wish our superintendent success in his future endeavor, and I hope that the committee that's created to choose a new superintendent will choose an individual that has the best interests of the entire learning community including the students, families, educators, staff, and citizens as his/her focus. Onward.