Humor                                                               Page 48


Leadership Lite


Hee Haw 
During open enrollment for nontraditional students interested in adult education, a new breed of student visited an inner-city learning center in Houston. The wannabe scholar that sauntered into the school parking lot that day was unlike any other. It was a stray donkey.

A school staff member who professed to be an animal lover hurried out to investigate. By then, the donkey had left the premises.

Minutes later, a woman raced by, yelling for “Pancho.” It seems she routinely takes a morning stroll with her pet donkey and little dog. Eventually, the trio were reconnected.

School district security-camera footage, complete with a time stamp, substantiates the animal’s presence for any nonbelievers.

Source: Carol Vaughn, communications manager, Harris County Department of Education, Houston, Texas




Lost in Space
A huge time capsule buried by 6th graders in Chelmsford, Mass., in 1965 is supposed to be opened 50 years later, a year from now — assuming someone can figure out the exact location.

The school district’s records confirm that a capsule was buried outside what was then the East School when Lyndon B. Johnson was president. It’s now a service center.

When the two metal barrels are excavated from a paved parking lot, the current 6th graders are going to find some favorite products of the time — Beatles records, comic books, bubble gum and hair spray.

Source: The Chelmsford Independent, Chelmsford, Mass.


Undercover Exploration
Carmen Farina, the newly installed chancellor of the New York City Public Schools, had a distinctive habit during her years as principal of a public school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side: She would substitute for teachers on their birthdays.

But Farina admitted this wasn’t just a kind gesture of support.

“I had an ulterior motive,” she told The New York Times recently. “I wanted to get to know what their classroom was like when they weren’t in it.”


Off-Limits Topics
A LinkedIn discussion forum for school district leaders asked: What question should a superintendent candidate never ask the board of education?

Some offerings:

  • “Are you OK as a board with me never communicating with you about important decisions? After all, I am the expert.”
  • “Do I have to attend any football games?”
  • “Is it OK if, when you need to know something, you just call my secretary? She runs the district anyway!”
  • “You’re not going to call my previous district for references, are you?”
  • “Is there a large medication cabinet in my office that can be locked? I need a safe place to store my happy pills!”
  • “Will you let me live in a van down by the river?”
  • “Is your office located next to mine?”


Short, humorous anecdotes, quips, quotations and malapropisms for this column relating to school district administration should be addressed to:
Editor, School Administrator,
1615 Duke St.,
Alexandria, VA 22314
Fax: 703-841-1543

Upon request, names may be withheld in print.


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