School Administrator

October 2013

Leadership Before, During and After a Crisis

Q&A With Janet Robinson, Superstorm Sandy's Aftermath, Off-Campus Tragedies

October 2013                                       Number 9 Vol. 70 

Features 

When Catastrophe Strikes
BY JAMES HARVEY
An interview with Janet Robinson, former superintendent in Newtown, Conn., on the emotional impact of a mass tragedy, some protocols worth emulating and her hard-learned lessons for colleagues on dealing with the unthinkable.

A False Sense of Security
BY MICHAEL F. REGAN
The author’s past experiences serve as constant reminders that implementing the three P’s — plan, prepare and practice — before tragedy strikes will help guide leaders’ words and actions in the aftermath of a crisis involving the schools. 

Recovery From a Superstorm
BY MERRI ROSENBERG
A year after Sandy, school district leaders still are picking up the physical and psychological pieces. The recovery effort increasingly looks likely to hinge on the state of the public tax base.

A Port in the Storm: School Districts During Off-Campus Tragedies
BY GEORGIA R. DURÁN
A veteran school communicator details how three school systems filled essential roles in the aftermath of off-campus tragedies that inevitably touched the lives of students and educators.

Frontline

STARTING POINT
What we can learn about the efficacy of leadership in the months following Newtown, Conn.’s shooting tragedy and the destructive force of Superstorm Sandy.

STATE OF THE SUPERINTENDENCY
Publicizing Job Evaluations
An infographic examining the board’s sharing of the superintendent’s
performance reviews.

BEST OF THE BLOGS
Our monthly choice of pithy excerpts from five AASA members’ blogs.

ETHICAL EDUCATOR 
A Failure to Disclose

What to do about a central-office administrator who doesn’t mention a pair of noncriminal state ethics violations prior to his hiring? Our panel assesses a mythical statute of limitations on past mistakes.

LEGAL BRIEF
The Cautionary Wake of Penn State

BY NANCY FREDMAN KENT
Five lessons about institutional behavior for all school leaders in the aftermath of a scandal that transformed a respected place overnight into a synonym for indifference and cover-up.

BOARD-SAVVY SUPERINTENDENT
Challenging Assumptions Through Productivity Management
BY DONALD R. MCADAMS
Tackling the status quo is impossible without board resolutions and policies and the acceptance of responsibility for educating parents and public.

FOCUS
Matching Board-Certified Teachers to District Needs

BY CAROLANN G. WADE
How Wake County, N.C., uses its special force of 2,290 in all facets of newcomer mentoring and school improvement.

MY VIEW
Letting Happiness Find Me

BY STEVE MATTHEWS
Happiness, at times, can seem elusive in the superintendent’s seat.

MY VIEW
How Do You Uncover Organizational Dysfunction?

BY KIMBERLY MORITZ
One superintendent’s advice: Use the critical mass of dedicated and well-meaning employees to make change happen.


ReadingandResources

RESOURCE BANK

Nearly 70 doctoral dissertations completed during the first half of 2013 referenced the association.

WHY I WROTE THIS BOOK
Sam J. Miller, superintendent, Solon, Iowa, and AASA member, on co-authoring (with Todd Whitaker and Ryan Donlan) The Secret Solution: How One Principal Discovered the Path to Success (R&L Education, 2013).

BOOK REVIEWS

BookCreatingInnovators

Creating Innovators
by Tony Wagner
Reviewed by Charles V. Khoury

BookFuturesofSchoolReform

The Futures of School Reform
edited by Jal Mehta, Robert B. Schwartz and Frederick M. Hess
Reviewed by Joseph Rudnicki

BookLeadersPocketGuide

The Leader’s Pocket Guide
by John Baldoni
Reviewed by George E. Pawlas

BookLessonsforaNewReality

Lessons for a New Reality
by Robert Barkley Jr.
Reviewed by Marc Space

BookSchoolSafety101

School Safety 101
by John Matthews
Reviewed by Lylia King

BookUnderstandingStudent

Understanding Student Rights in Schools
by Bryan R. Warnick
Reviewed by Steve Jenkins


AASAInsight

PRESIDENT’S CORNER
What a Great Country — Ours!

BY AMY F. SICHEL
Impressions of education and culture in Cuba following AASA’s People to People Ambassador trip.

EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVE
AASA’s Support in Disaster Aftermath

BY DANIEL A. DOMENECH
The association’s substantive role in brokering support among school districts affected by natural disasters.

PEOPLE WATCH
Our monthly fix of superintendents’ comings and goings.

PROFILE
Wendell Waukau
BY SARAH CARR
The superintendent of Wisconsin’s Menominee Indian School District brings a wholehearted devotion to the community.

Plus

READER REPLY (Letters)

LEADERSHIP LITE

 

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