Letters                                                                 Page 4


Reader Reply


The Legal Brief column by Michele Handzel in May, “The Heroic Efforts of a Shared Superintendent,” brought back a lot of memories.

Fifty-five years ago, I was hired as a superintendent overseeing five school districts in Vermont. In Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, many of the superintendents, then as now, reported to more than one school board. I had to follow five sets of board policies, and often one board’s policies on a certain topic would differ from another board’s policies in a second district under my supervision.

In addition to an assortment of elementary schools in my five school districts, I had two small high schools about 20 miles apart, one on each side of a mountain. One of my school boards often had little or no knowledge of the demands on my time by the other boards for whom I worked. At that time, I was fortunate to not have to deal with five teachers’ unions, as they were almost nonexistent then.

School districts can possibly save some money by sharing a superintendent, but my hat is off to the many school superintendents in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont who lead a hectic life by reporting to multiple school boards. They really deserve combat pay.

AASA life member,
Shelburne, Vt.


Rave for a Review
After reading Jerry Horgen’s book review of Principals as Maverick Leaders: Rethinking Democratic Schools in your April issue, I would say, “If only more schools would put this into practice!”

Retired English teacher,
Apache Junction, Ariz.


Right vs. Right
There are far too many intelligent yet unethical educators in positions of authority and power who abuse the suppositions in the Ethical Educator case “The Slacking Staffer” (April 2013) to explain, as your four panelists do, how there was no choice but to deal with a staff member as they suggested. The details of this scenario seem to be created to support an unethical dismissal.

As someone who previously spent more than 20 years in public school administration, I believe there are far fewer ethical education administrators in practice than the field would want to acknowledge.

The lack of ethical decision making turned up recently in Northern Virginia, where an effective, veteran teacher was dismissed near the end of the school year after receiving all effective evaluations. As my doctoral adviser, a former superintendent in the area, put it, the top leadership showed a total lack of courage when it “forgot” standard operating procedures that would preserve excellent teaching.

Adjunct Professor,
Germanna Community College,
Fredericksburg, Va 



Letters should be addressed to:
School Administrator
1615 Duke St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Fax: 703-841-1543



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