Humor                           Page 80


Leadership Lite


Why You Do What You Do

During his years as AASA executive director, Paul Houston produced an off-beat Top 10 list annually. In 2006, he featured the “Top 10 Reasons I Became a School Administrator,” whose answers were reproduced on the backside of an association T-shirt that was a popular seller among superintendents at the national conference. Among them:

  • Always wanted to work for seven people with 14 different opinions;
  • My positive self-image was getting out of hand; and
  • Wanted a job where even my family can tell me what I did wrong.

Love Bug Strikes

Christopher Farmer, the chief school officer in Coventry, England, got a lot more than professional training when he attended AASA’s national conference in Orlando, Fla., in 1993. While participating in an evening reception, he met Colleen Wilcox, a superintendent from San Jose, Calif. The next night they jointly attended The Capitol Steps performance at the conference.

“Within three hours, I was a goner,” Wilcox told the AASA Conventioneer.

They married the following spring, and Farmer moved to the Bay Area.

A Personal Admission

Ed Garner, an executive with ARAMARK ServiceMaster, knew exactly whom he was addressing when he opened his remarks before announcing the 2002 National Superintendent of the Year in an AASA conference ceremony in San Diego, Calif., this way: “I have been a board of education member, and I apologize for that.”

Flying High

AASA’s elected president has the privilege of appointing active members to advisory committees. In the 1950s, that included the Aviation Education Committee, which had seven members serving one-year terms.

Issues of The School Administrator from that era do not report exactly what the aviation panel of school leaders took up at its meetings.

The Appeal of Dolly’s Gloss

Rabid followers of country musicians will go to all lengths.

That behavior was on display immediately following the 1st General Session at AASA’s national conference in San Diego, Calif., in February 2002 when a superintendent from Iowa raced to the front of the stage to snare the plastic water bottle used by Dolly Parton during her remarks and two-song performance. The bottle, left behind on a stool by the blonde bombshell, contained a smack of Dolly’s ruby red lipstick.


Can Her Board Pass This Test?

Superintendent Frances Karanovich had a test in mind for her board of education in Macomb, Ill., when she requested seven copies of a new AASA report, “Leadership for Change,” in 2006. A pithy insight from Karanovich appeared in the report.

She told an AASA staff member: “I’m going to highlight my quote on page 6 and give a copy to each of my board members, and then see if they can find my name.”

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. E-mail: magazine@aasa.org. Upon request, names may be withheld in print. 


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