The School Administrator

August 2009 Cover

August 2009 Number 7, Vol. 66Blogging SuperintendentsUpsides, downsides and a rationale for social networking


  • Superintendent Blogging

    by MARK J. STOCK

    So what is all the fuss about blogging and other social media tools? The author, a former superintendent, has good reasons for how and why education leaders should consider adding a blog to their school district’s communication plan.

    Similar Reading: Sure ways to make your blog a dog and Brian Wheeler on blogging by board members and ‘They’re Killing Me in the Blogosphere’ and Superintendents’ blogs worth checking

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  • To Blog or Not to Blog?


    Some superintendent colleagues told him they saw no use in blogging and feared what it might lead to. The author, a rural superintendent, counters with his rationale for maintaining his blog and how he benefits.

    Similar Reading: Suggested blogsites

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  • Anger Management


    School leaders are reporting an uptick in anger in their communities these days — often diffuse, unfocused anger — among staff members, parents and neighbors. The best response, say two veteran school communicators: Listen and collaborate.

    Similar Reading: Understanding the rage

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  • The Potential of Story in Leadership


    The mutual exchange of personal tales can promote the goals school leaders seek — managing change, influencing others, building relationships or promoting the greater good. The author, a former superintendent, has written Leadership Through Story: Diverse Voices in Dialogue.

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  • The Road to a Baldrige Award


    Along the journey to his district earning the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the superintendent says his school system encountered many turning points. Not the least of these was overcoming self-satisfaction to develop learner-centered schools for students and staff.

    Similar Reading: The board’s buy-in to Baldrige and Previous Baldrige-winning districts

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    Pushing for Higher and Drier Ground by PAUL RIEDE

    Superintendent Jere Vyverberg has moved Iowa’s Waverly-Shell Rock Community Schools to higher and drier ground since the fateful day in June 2008 when floodwaters consumed his district.

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    Tech Leadership

    It’s Good To Be Green by LANE B. MILLS

    With rising costs, school districts should be looking at how technology can help offset expenses and how “greener” decisions might save some greenbacks.

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    Guest Columns

    Wrought With Danger: Being a Superintendent Is Scary by MICHAEL N. SMITH

    This superintendent loves the structure of his work day — except when his highly organized system breaks down in confusion.

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    Playing the Game of School by KENNETH A. GREENBAUM

    A longtime superintendent finds parallels between the board game of Monopoly and the arcane rules that prevail in schools today.

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    We Have Met the Enemy and They Are Us by PAUL M. HEWITT

    Superintendents who cash in their vacation-buyout provisions, rather than use annual leave for time away, may be hurting themselves professionally.

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    An Up-Close Civics Lesson on School Financing by JEAN ATKIN GOOL

    When the budget situation looked bleak, the superintendent accompanied her high school students to the state capital to experience their legislative branch at work. The hands-on connection invigorated the community.

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    Our monthly tally of appointments, retirements and deaths in the superintendent ranks. The Sidelight shines on a band director-turned-superintendent who keeps his hand in music as guest conductor.

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    Board-Savvy Superintendent

    Surviving Board Transitions by DONALD R. McADAMS

    Even one new board member changes the dynamics. And two or more can change board direction. Whatever the circumstances, newcomers need orientation and training to fit into the governance team.

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    Dealing With the Nightmare of ‘Sexting’ by SARA G. BOUCEK

    The phenomenon of forwarding nude or seminude photographs of students in schools via electronic media now haunts school leaders. A pro-active stance starts by reviewing and revising current policies.

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    Paperless School Board Meetings by RON SAUNDERS

    No more thick binders or intimidating piles of paper for meeting agendas. The contemporary board meeting, at least in Barrow County, Ga., is all electronic.

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    President's Corner

    New Paths to the Future by MARK T. BIELANG

    In his debut column, the new president of AASA asks his colleagues to keep two questions in the forefront of their work as leaders.

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    Executive Perspective

    Our Move Toward Common Standards by DANIEL A. DOMENECH

    AASA’s executive director expresses his enthusiasm and support for the development of voluntary national standards as a key means for competing globally.

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    AASA Business Solutions

    Partners I Wish I’d Had in My School Districts by CHUCK WOODRUFF

    In our launch of a periodic column on school business applications, AASA’s associate executive director for finance and operations believes the association’s Business Solutions Center represents a systemic way of identifying good approaches to common needs of central administration.

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