Book Review

Learning from the Best

Lessons from Award-Winning Superintendents

by Sandra Harris, Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, Calif., and AASA, 2009, 162 pp. with index, $62.95 hardcover, $28.95 softcover

Whether you are a first-year superintendent or a 30-year veteran, Learning From the Best: Lessons From Award-Winning Superintendents by Sandra Harris provides timely and effective advice. Harris, director of the Center for Doctoral Studies in Educational Leadership at Lamar University, compiles information from an award-winning group of veteran superintendents about the multiple facets of their role.

Learning From the Best

Harris, whose previous books focused on elementary and secondary school leadership, organizes the information submitted from more than 20 superintendents into seven chapters. The topics include leadership that transforms schools, community building and creative ideas that work.

Each chapter contains advice and examples from several of the featured superintendents. The summaries of each provide the reader with a quick overview of each chapter, along with “leadership reflection” questions and recommended resources. This format makes the information easy to access and allows for more in-depth study of a particular topic. AASA Executive Director Daniel Domenech has written the forward.

Overall, the book provides a great deal of advice in a simple and easy-to-digest format.

Reviewed by Justin B. Henry, superintendent, Southeast of Saline School District, Gypsum, Kan.