The School Administrator


April 2009 Number 4 Vol. 66Remembering ColumbineSuperintendent Jane Hammond's tales of tragedy and healing


  • The Columbine Tragedy Ten Years Later

    by Jane Hammond

    The stories of the terrible day at Columbine High School are as diverse as the people who experienced it. While reflecting on her own situation as superintendent at the time, the author also asked some of her closest colleagues how they’ve been affected personally and professionally in the decade since.

    Similar Reading: Combating Hatred That Grows From Student Alienation and Four Enduring Lessons Learned From Tragedy

    read more | purchase issue
  • Goal-Directed Schools

    by Marc F. Bernstein, Thomas J. Troisi and Joseph P. Pompilio

    The leadership of a Long Island school district has tapped into teachers’ strengths in ways that benefit the goals of the organization. They detail how the district is leveraging its most valuable resource, its teaching force.

    read more | purchase issue
  • The Tipping Point in School Culture

    by Jeff Nelsen and Bob Hill

    The authors worked as consultants with two school districts as they figured out how to reach that vital moment when change spreads from isolated pockets across the district landscape.

    read more | purchase issue
  • Critical Elements of an Academic Culture

    by W.L. Sanders, Jeff Williams and Roblyn Hatch

    The Farmington, Mo., school district has a game plan for raising the bar of learning and for helping the faculty to see that students clear it.

    Similar Reading: Cost-Free Tutoring Services

    read more | purchase issue


    A Hankering for the Big Picture by Jay P. Goldman

    Longtime superintendent Dick Bray doesn’t create much news in Orange County, Calif., but his work statewide on behalf of his colleagues definitely warrants a boldface headline.

    read more


    Punchback: Answering Critics

    Penny Pinchers Cheapen Teaching Through Alternative Routes by Gene V Glass

    Public school critics who claim that hiring only certified teachers is bad policy are out in force.

    read more
    Guest Columns

    A Failure to Communicate by Paul D. Houston

    Humans have two ears and just one tongue for a reason, AASA’s retired executive director insists, “to allow us to listen more than we speak.”

    read more

    Filling the Void With 21st-Century Skills by John M. Box

    The author’s move from school administration to a leading role at Junior Achievement has opened his eyes. He is exploring how to bring today’s students fluency in financial literacy, problem solving, innovation and creativity, all part of a complete education.

    read more

    Accepting the Prophet in Your Own Village by James P. Hoover

    When it comes to searching for promising administrative candidates, school districts apparently prefer to cast a broad net into a sea of applicants rather than drop a line into their own pond, the author argues. The biblical phrase “No prophet is accepted in his hometown” is particularly appropriate in public education.

    read more
    President’s Corner

    This Can Be Our Moment by Randall H. Collins

    With a fresh breeze in the air, the time is right for all public school leaders to raise their voices collectively.

    read more
    Systems Thinking

    A Five-Year Push for District Change by Trudie T. Bennett

    Hired as a change agent in a complex setting, a Pennsylvania superintendent used AASA facilitator training to break through the lethargy.

    read more
    Tech Leadership

    Creating Presentations That Don’t Stink by Lane B. Mills

    Ever been stuck in the PowerPoint presentation from hell? Here’s advice on how to use the technology to stimulate your audience to do more than keep a running count of the slides on the screen.

    read more

    Legal Implications of School District E-mail by Michael J. Julka

    When school boards and administrators communicate electronically, they need to be mindful of open meetings laws and public records laws. Failing to do so can lead to public embarrassment or even legal action.

    read more

    Blending Training for Early Childhood Staff by Susan H. Landry

    As more school districts have taken on the role of early childhood education provider, the quest for qualified preschool staff, especially in low-income areas, has been a major challenge.

    read more

    Inadvertent Board Actions That Create Liability by Seamus P. Boyce

    Board policy sometimes is at odds with common management practice. One preventive measure: written disclaimers in policy manuals and employee handbooks.

    read more
    Executive Perspective

    A Foundation for Leadership Support by Daniel A. Domenech

    We understand how important professional development is for school leaders, but seldom do school systems have the financial resources to do the job right.

    read more


    This month’s compilation of appointments and retirements in the superintendent ranks. The Sidelight focuses on a superintendent’s pursuit of game in the woods and streams and the meal preparation that ensues.

    read more