The School Administrator

October Cover 2010

October 2010 Number 9, Vol. 67The Search: Public or Confidential?Divergent tacks for filling superintendent vacancies


  • The Changing Rules of the Superintendency Hunt


    By his count, the author has been through nearly 100 interviews for superintendent positions over the past three decades. Now, in his seventh superintendency, he recounts his experiences with search consultants and hiring school boards.

    Similar Reading: A Long Trail in the Superintendency and Advice to Job-Seeking Superintendents

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  • Superintendent Searches: Public or Confidential? The Case for an Open Search Process


    As a search consultant to school boards for 20 years, the author has borne witness to dozens of superintendents finding a comfortable match with a new school district when the appointment process has been open to the public — a condition she views as essential.

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  • Superintendent Searches: Public or Confidential? Why Confidentiality Contributes to Quality Searches


    When highly qualified candidates learn a superintendent search will be conducted out of the public eye, they are much more inclined to stay in the running. Confidentiality is their item of highest priority, says the head of one of the country’s largest search firms, a former superintendent himself.

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  • A Matter of Trust: My Quick Transition to the Superintendency


    With no 10-step program in hand, a newcomer finds relationship building to be the top priority as superintendent of a small Midwestern school district. The prevailing lack of trust has challenged him to heal a wounded district and move everyone forward.

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  • The Language of Objection


    Here’s how you can anticipate and address six common refrains from the naysayers when you are pushing transformational change in a school system.

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    Making the Most of His Opportunities by Paul Riede

    His childhood was filled with lessons about making the most of one’s opportunities, something the superintendent in Chesterfield County, Va., has not forgotten.

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    Punchback: Answering Critics

    The Root of International Test Gaps: American Distractions by ROBERT E. HIRSCH

    To respond to the criticisms about U.S. student performance on international tests, the veteran superintendent of Ocean Springs, Miss., takes the schools out of the equation and points instead at the dynamics of our national culture.

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    When Tragedy Strikes, Will Key Players Be Set? by KERRY L. ROBERTS

    The death of a kindergarten pupil found a school district unprepared to deal with the aftermath. A former superintendent shares a few simple preparations, including the exhortation to practice.

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    Guest Column

    This Is Your Brain. This Is Your Brain on School. by NICHOLAS I. CLEMENT

    An Arizona superintendent revisits the memorable public service announcement with the brain-on-drugs frying egg metaphor to promote a new initiative in his schools that translates compelling research on brain fitness into action.

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    Reconsidering the Icon of the Landmark Schoolhouse by CHARLES L. LOWERY

    Many view the old schoolhouse as a spiritual landmark as well as a physical one, but for this principal in a small East Texas town, an aging facility is standing in the way of his students’ success.

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    Our monthly compilation of appoint-ments and retirements in the superintendent ranks.

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    Tech Leadership

    Is Facebook a ‘Friend’ to School Administrators? by TERRY MORAWSKI

    Facebook can be intimidating and a little scary, owing to some horror stories. Yet this wildly popular social media tool has several positive attributes for school leaders.

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    President's Corner

    Searching for Excellence in a Superintendent by EDGAR B. HATRICK

    As in marriage, teamwork between board members and the superintendent is not automatic, no matter what the legal contract says. Building a strong, lasting relationship takes just as much work as finding the right superintendent in the first place.

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    Executive Perspective

    Federal Money as a Catalyst to Nationwide Reform by DANIEL A. DOMENECH

    AASA’s executive director witnesses firsthand the tensions that develop when Washington officials set policies and pass laws placing national and local interests at odds. The latest example: the effort to establish a set of common core standards.

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    AASA School Solutions

    Calling on HOPE To Jumpstart Reform by ALAN M. BLANKSTEIN

    When two city school districts needed to build leadership capacity, they turned to the HOPE Foundation to build trust for lifting student outcomes.

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