Book Review                                     Online Exclusive

Me in the Making   


by Walter Milton Jr., One-L Group, Springfield Ill., 2007, 162 pp. with index, $19.99 softcover


Anyone aspiring to be a superintendent would find a lot of valuable insights in Me in the Making: One Man’s Journey to Becoming a School Superintendent by Walter Milton Jr., a veteran superintendent. He has chronicled his personal journey as an African-American from landing his first teaching position in suburban upstate New York to five years later becoming a middle school principal in an urban district.

Milton’s career was on the fast track, when at age 30, after earning his doctorate, he became a superintendent in a small, rural school district. Two years later he became superintendent in Flint, Mich., which proved to be a most turbulent time, before he moved on to the top post in Springfield, Ill.

This book has been called a bio-print. It’s part biography of Milton’s life, part blueprint on how to improve, administer and build relationships and lead school reform in urban settings. The author shares the role his mentors and networking played in his leadership work.

The books opens with what Milton calls “10 Guiding Principles for Highly Effective Pre-School through Grade 12 Learning Communities.”

Then, after 11 short chapters about his professional journey, he shares his superintendent entry plan and a literature review on parent involvement, along with a student discussion guide for use with graduate school courses. In each chapter, the author raises reflective questions.

Milton’s journey is an inspiring one, and his lessons are simple yet powerful. Practitioners will take with them a belief they can make a difference in the lives of children.

Reviewed by Diane E. Reed, associate professor and co-director, Graduate Educational Leadership Program, St. John Fisher College, Rochester, N.Y.


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