Book Reviews

Effective Superintendent-School Board Practices

by Rene S. Townsend, Gloria L. Johnston, Gwen E. Gross, Peggy Lynch, Lorraine Garcy, Benita Roberts and Patricia B. Novotney, Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, Calif., 2007, 154 pp. with index, $27.95 softcover

Do you feel confident of your ability to be a successful superintendent even with no prior experience? After reading Effective Superintendent-School Board Practices: Strategies for Developing and Maintaining Good Relationships With Your Board, you will feel like you have sat in the superintendent’s chair.

In each of the five chapters, the authors provide a brief overview of various concepts related to the theme of the chapter along with a self-assessment. A personal story or real-life example is shared from a superintendent or a district staff member related to each concept in each chapter. An analysis of the vignette is provided, and finally suggested action steps are given. Each chapter ends with a bulleted summary.

One thing that makes this book unique is the authors are a team of seven women who have been in the superintendent position for a combined total of 84 years. The women freely share the good, the bad and the ugly experiences so others may learn what works and what doesn’t in effective superintendent-board relations.

Effective Superintendent-School Board Practices is an easy-to-read guide that can be referred to again and again by current and aspiring superintendents and board members. The intent of the authors was to write a book that will help the board-superintendent relationship to run smoothly so the focus can be maintained on student achievement.

Reviewed by Lylia King, principal, Cleburne Intermediate School, Cleburne, Texas