The School Administrator

Feb 2004 Cover

February 2004Alone at the TopExamining some of the sad realities of the superintendency


  • Lonely at the Top

    by Michael Jazzar and Dale P. Kimball

    The higher one climbs the career ladder in education, the more one is exposed to open criticism. The signs of current times have left superintendents feeling more isolated and vulnerable than ever. In this article, a superintendent and a former superintendent describe how their colleagues are coping with the heat over what people don’t like about their schools, their community or even themselves.

    Similar Reading: Survivor's Tips and Lonely at the Start: A First-Year Superintendent

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  • Tragedy at the Top

    by Terrance L. Furin

    Why do some school administrators with advanced degrees and working knowledge of the most sophisticated transformative leadership theories turn to an authoritarian model that ultimately jeopardizes their careers? This former superintendent-turned-professor thinks the problem stems from a breakdown between leadership theory and more | purchase issue
  • A Killing and a Crowning

    by Thomas M. Westerhaus

    A close look at the lives of two superintendents in the same Midwestern state who faced vastly different outcomes when coping with the pressures of their work. One superintendent killed himself after he was forced to resign; the other was crowned as state superintendent of the year. The author’s work is based on more than two dozen interviews with family members, school leaders and community residents and examination of board minutes.

    Similar Reading: Two Paths, Two Ends and a Set of Lessons

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  • Recruiting Board Members

    by Jack McKay and Mark Peterson

    When vacancies arise in the membership of a school board, the superintendent may be inclined to ask: “Should I become involved in recruiting new board members or should I leave the selection and recruitment strictly to chance?” It’s a critical decision when the superintendent’s future may depend on the outcome of the next board election. The authors studied the matter through survey research, and these are their more | purchase issue
  • I’m Fired: What Shall I Say?

    by Charles R. Waggoner

    Take the high road, counsels a veteran superintendent, offering personal and professional reasons to speak no evil about your former employer--even when your contract has been terminated or not renewed. Choosing to act appropriately will make your exit a legacy you can be proud more | purchase issue
  • Transitioning to Retirement

    by Ruth E. Sternberg

    Candid interviews with recently retired superintendents on how they are moving from the fast-and-furious world of the superintendency to a retired lifestyle and wide-open calendar. The author, a free-lance education writer, looks at what constitutes a smooth (or not-so-smooth) transition.

    Similar Reading: Filling the Voids in Retirement: Your Emotions and Finances

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  • Retirement Straight Talk

    by Donald R. Draayer

    Retirement brings with it a multitude of decisions, raw emotions and values that must be examined thoroughly, says the author, the 1990 National Superintendent of the Year. Based on his new book on the topic, he uses humor and personal reflections to explore the phases of retirement.

    Similar Reading: Retirement: Have It Your Way

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    Fulfilling a Dream Inspired by a Segregated Start by Paul Riede

    Charlie T. Kent Jr., superintendent in Country Club Hills, Ill., fulfills a personal dream that was inspired by a segregated more


    Punchback: Answering Critics

    Understanding ‘Bloat’ Can Be Daunting by David E. Sawyer

    One superintendent’s crafty approach for disarming those with misconceptions about spending on anything beyond more

    Conference Networking: It’s in the Planning by Kent R. Davies

    Networking effectively to make the best use of your time at a professional conference means doing legwork more
    Guest Columns

    No Money Left Behind by Barnett Sturm

    Anxiously awaiting help from the federal government and corporate leaders—the same people who’ve done so much to alleviate the nation’s health care more

    No Cow Left Behind by Kenneth A. Remsen

    A barnyard account of No Child Left more

    See No Child’s Left Behind by Casey Hurley

    A modern-day equivalent of the Hans Christian Andersen tale, The Emperor’s New more

    A South Philly Philosophy for Leadership by Joseph P. Batory

    The neighborhood bookie had some ready advice when the author was appointed to the more


    The Sidelight shines on a superintendent who doubles as an Elvis impersonator with more
    Board-Savvy Superintendent

    Bringing Out the Best Board Behavior by Nicholas Caruso

    Ten tips for encouraging proper conduct from school board more
    President’s Corner

    Freebies From AASA by John R. Lawrence, president, AASA

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    Executive Perspective

    A View From the Top by Paul D. Houston, executive director, AASA

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    Federal Dateline

    Adding Common Sense to NCLB by Terri Duggan Schwartzbeck, policy analyst, AASA

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