Book Reviews

Superintendent's Guide to Creating Community

by Jane C. Owen and Martha N. Ovando


Reviewed by George E. Pawlas
Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Fla.

In the Superintendent's Guide to Creating Community, co-authors Jane C. Owen, assistant superintendent for planning and accountability in McKinney, Texas, and Martha N. Ovando, associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin, selected two outstanding superintendents for their study. Each superintendent was newly appointed to his district with a school board mandate to "turn the district around."

Owen and Ovando sought to describe the roles played by these superintendents while identifying the strategies they used to earn the trust and cooperation of the community. Although the names of the superintendents and districts were altered to protect their identities, the information is based on reality.

Each of the 11 chapters focuses on one aspect of the superintendency, and most chapters conclude with discussion questions. Those questions could serve as reflection questions for practicing superintendents and as enrichment tools for graduate students considering the superintendency.

The scenarios confronted by these superintendents are the same ones most superintendents will encounter. The straightforward, successful methods they profile, which reflect characteristics of strong leadership could serve as beacons for administrators in other states.

(Superintendent's Guide to Creating Community by Jane C. Owen and Martha N. Ovando, Scarecrow Press, 4720 Boston Way, Lanham, Md. 20706, 2000, 169 pp. with index, $45 hardcover, $27.95 softcover)