The School Administrator

SA Cover 2005

February 2005Optimism in the StormHow you interpret reality makes the biggest difference


  • Optimism in the Face of the Storm

    by Jerry Patterson and Paul Kelleher

    How you interpret the reality of the toughest leadership moments strongly predicts your ability to come through the storm in a better place. The authors draw on interviews with school system leaders to describe how to apply the elements of realistic optimism to real-life scenarios.

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  • Resiliency and Sustainability

    by Michael Fullan

    Superintendents who want to make a difference must think and act with the big picture in mind, says the author in describing his eight elements of sustainability.

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  • Balancing on the Edge

    by Harold E. Winkler

    The superintendent in Cabarrus County, N.C., translates the rules of mountain climbing to surmounting the challenges of school leadership. After suffering a heart attack on a climb, he developed a new perspective on the importance of balance in his life.

    Similar Reading: Resources

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  • Broken-Wing Superintendents

    by George A. Goens

    In a profession fraught with conflict, even highly competent superintendents sometimes hit a glass wall of rejection and failure. The author, a former superintendent, has ideas for restoring one’s emotional energy and confidence before taking flight and getting back into a leadership role.

    Similar Reading: Two Cases of Broken Wings

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  • Appreciative Inquiry

    by Dawna Markova and Bea Mah Holland

    Appreciative inquiry is based on the premise that an organization that delves into problems will keep finding problems, while an organization that attempts to appreciate the best in itself and build on its strengths will discover good things. Markova is the author of Random Acts of Kindness.

    Similar Reading: Practicing Appreciative Inquiry and Additional Resources

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  • Unfair Targets: Superintendents’ Offspring

    by Kate Beem

    Tales of school-age children coping with exaggerated expectations and hurtful criticism simply owing to their parents’ unique status in the community.

    Similar Reading: Easing Your Child’s Burden Through Talk and Elusive Solution: Living Outside Your District and A Cruel World: A Superintendent’s Daughter’s Account and The Paradoxical Journey of a Superintendent’s Family

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  • Women Leading Systems

    by Margaret Grogan and C. Cryss Brunner

    The current status of women in the superintendency, drawn from an AASA-commissioned survey.

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    Marjorie C. Chiafery: Righting the Ship By Broadening the Base by Jay P. Goldman

    In her 27 years as an administrator in Merrimack, N.H., Marge Chiafery can claim to have seen the best of times and the worst in her school district.

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    Punchback: Answering Critics

    The Mindless Fascination of International Comparisons by Richard Rothstein

    Test score comparisons can be misleading, especially when only the American system offers second chances to more

    Board-Superintendent Relations: Going Paperless at the Board Table by Phillip J. Ertl

    A Wisconsin superintendent addressed the paper burden by purchasing wireless laptops for use by board members in accessing meeting more

    Pupil Personnel Management: A Problem-Solving Model for Special Education’s ‘Storms’ by C. Ben Barbour

    A team of school psychologists and learning specialists in Horry County, S.C., devised an alternative service delivery model for referrals and more
    Guest Columns

    Frenetic Life Times Two: The Two-Superintendent Household by Darrell G. Floyd

    For the past 4½ years, the author and his wife have served as superintendents in the same state. When reviewing the trying moments, he wonders aloud how his marriage has more

    Hot Dog Queen: My Life in PTA by Carol A. Woodbury

    The superintendent in Monson, Mass., finds much of what she has learned about leading a school system stems from her unique status as an elected leader of the state and national more
    Board-Savvy Superintendent

    Board Committees as the Governing Engines by Doug Eadie

    Standing committees divide the labor of governing into chewable chunks, enabling board members to delve into matters in greater detail than is possible at the full board level and ultimately improving the quality of board decision more
    President’s Corner

    The Power of Family by Donald L. Kussmaul, presdent, AASA

    AASA’s president learned more about himself and leadership from working with the Prusator family in Bureau County, Ill., than anyone more
    Executive Perspective

    It Ain’t Necessarily So by Paul D. Houston, executive director, AASA

    Just as a person of faith can believe in evolution, a public educator should be able to question flaws in federal law without being labeled a protector of the status more


    Listings of the latest appointments and retirements in the member ranks. The Sidelight shines on a Kentucky superintendent with a fancy for breeding equines. read more