The School Administrator

SA 2005 June Cover

June 2005 Number 6, Vol. 82Calling New LeadersUncommon preparation for those new or aspiring


  • Finally a Superintendent: Now What?

    by Bob Schultz

    One of the things the superintendent in Granite Bay, Calif., didn’t learn in graduate school about running a school system: How to cope with wildfires, angry parents and the spotting of a mountain lion all on the same day. A question from a junior high student triggered the author’s reflections.

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  • Lord, What Do I Do Now?

    by Thomas S. Mawhinney

    Management guru Warren Bennis had it right when he wrote: “The first leadership experience is an agonizing education, in that nothing else in life prepares you.” A former school leader turned consultant says readying a new principal goes well beyond turning over a set of new office keys.

    Similar Reading: Before Turning Over the Keys to the New Principal

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  • You Can Have It Both Ways

    by Barry J. Ricci

    Through his own example, an assistant superintendent from Wood River Junction, R.I., shows that leaving a principalship for central administration doesn’t necessarily mean surrendering meaningful contact with students in need. He finds his regular interaction as a tutor is crucial to his effectiveness as a district leader.

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  • Turnaround Principals

    by Harold J. Burbach and Alfred R. Butler IV

    Two veteran school district leaders in Virginia draw an unmistakable conclusion from their work setting up a unique training program for school leaders preparing to work in the most troubled schools: Site-level success stems from superintendent support and involvement.

    Similar Reading: Two Schools of Thought on Leadership Mesh in Virginia

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  • Teaching Leadership 101

    by Diann DePasquale

    Seven ideas for coaching and mentoring fledgling school leaders offered by a professor of educational leadership at California State University-Northridge. Among her tactics: Use the news headlines for discussion starters and require group decision making on complex topics.

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  • What Was I Thinking?

    by Stephen H. Davis

    A Stanford University professor defines the common traps in the decision making of superintendents and principals. While conceding he holds no fail-safe prevention strategies, the author draws on common scenarios to suggest how readers might mitigate traps before falling prey.

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    Percy Clark Jr. by Jay P. Goldman

    Something about Percy Clark’s first experience as a classroom teacher in Portage, Mich., continues to resonate four decades later in how he views his work as the superintendent of the Pasadena, Calif., Unified School District.

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    Punchback: Answering Critics

    The Answer Is the Way You Message by Arch Lustberg

    A veteran consultant on communications describes how a superintendent might harness the power of stories to take control of media interviews when the questioning is decidedly more

    Massing Support for a Levy Without Mass Media by Ron Whitmoyer

    After one decisive defeat of a tax levy, the superintendent, East Helena, Mont., scrapped the standard campaign strategy for one that systematically targets only those likely to cast a yes vote. With the PTA president’s organizational skills, the district attracted the votes it needed and then more
    Guest Column

    Only the Extraordinary for Next Generation’s Leaders by Bill Brown and Harry McLenighan

    What are the administrative competencies needed to be a success in the 21st century? The co-authors identify 10 lofty attributes that will leave you wondering where the next generation of school leaders will come more
    Board-Savvy Superintendent

    The Lone Ranger on the Board by Nicholas D. Caruso Jr.

    When a board member insists on acting as an individual, what can fellow board members and the superintendent do? An official with the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education admits superintendents, while treading carefully, still have a role to more
    President's Corner

    Reflections on Leadership by Donald L. Kussmaul

    The farewell commentary on school leadership by AASA’s outgoing more
    Executive Perspectve

    The High Cost of Free Speech by Paul D. Houston

    If public schools are a cornerstone of American democracy, students better learn what the First Amendment’s all more