Humor                                                          Page 52


Leadership Lite


Sleep Inducing
In his high school principalship days in Fergus Falls, Minn., Jerry Horgen sometimes would warm up in the early morning with a 10-mile run as he pondered what was on his day’s agenda. One day he kept thinking of the teacher he would be evaluating during first period and the fact this teacher had a voice that puts one to sleep.

Horgen (now an education consultant in Henning, Minn.) geared up with two cups of coffee, greeted the teacher at his classroom and took a seat at the rear. Sure enough, this teacher’s monotone put the visiting principal to sleep. “Not only did I fall asleep, I had saliva streaming down my mouth and I woke up at the end of the class period when the bell rang.”

Horgen jumped up from his chair when a student sitting next to him uttered: “Now you know what we’re going through!”

Sleep Deprived
Superintendent Alberto Carvalho made the rounds on the first day of school in Miami-Dade County, Fla., where the dapper-attired school leader became a magnet for advice from students.

A kindergarten’s complaint topped the list of what Carvalho tweeted over the day: “Mister, you’re the boss? Can you talk to the teacher? We had nap time last year but not this year!”

Not Just a Kids Book
When a team of examiners affiliated with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award program came to her small suburban district outside Milwaukee, Wis., Superintendent JoAnn Sternke figured she had the perfect way to set the stage for their inspection. She read aloud to the team of seven The Little Engine That Could, the fabled children’s tale.

Sternke’s story telling must have set the right frame of mind. A few months later, she learned the 2,800-student Pewaukee School District had been named one of only two Baldrige winners for 2013.

Power of Perception
Having served as a superintendent in small towns for his entire 20-year career, Jerry Jennex has learned the value of high visibility in the community and in the classrooms.

Students in the Globe Unified Schools in Arizona quickly caught on that the guy in the suit showing up in their rooms carried some clout. That point was affirmed the day Jennex was at a local convenience store picking up a diet soda when a student who was 7 or 8 recognized him and turned to his mother. “I know that guy — he’s the master of our school.”

Jennex wishes it were so, saying, “While it often feels that I have little control of the many circumstances I deal with, it was good to hear that at least one of my constituents perceived that I did have control of the school!”



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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