Leadership Lite

 Leadership Lite
                        Illustration by Tim Haggerty 


King-Sized Elvis

Bob Webber’s fascination with all things Elvis led to a special holiday gift from high school art students in the Ouachita Parish School District in Monroe, La., where he’s the superintendent.

They created a 67-inch tall piece of artwork carefully fashioned of 25 individual squares of Presley’s hair, eyes and sideburns, all combining to create what the local newspaper called “a single flawless portrait of ‘The King.’ ”

Webber stood beside the portrait and shared Elvis trivia with the students and even tried out an Elvis impression on the young audience.

Source: The News Star, Monroe, La. 


Cryptic Note of Passage

 The day Robert Neu assumed the reins as superintendent of the Oklahoma City Public Schools last summer, he got a peculiar text message: “Tag, you’re it.”

It came from Dave Lopez, who preceded Neu as the interim superintendent. It made him realize that, yes indeed, the baton was now firmly in his hands. It was his turn at the helm.

Source: Oklahoma Gazette 


No Payoff on This Wager

When Georgia’s Gwinnett County School District and Florida’s Orange County Schools were named finalists for the Broad Foundation prize last year, the two superintendents raised the stakes.

If Orange County were to win, Gwinnett Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks was ready to send a package of Georgia swag, including Coca-Cola, peanuts and “something peachy and sweet” from the district’s award-winning culinary arts program. Orange County Superintendent Barbara Jenkins said she was prepared to transport a crate of Florida oranges across the state line.

In the end, neither had to worry about the shipping charges when the foundation named them the first set of co-winners.


Off to the Races

In the fourth inning of every Washington Nationals baseball game, out come the Racing Presidents for a comical dash around the outfield grass. In Loudon, N.H., the chase involved the Racing Superintendents.

With a $10,000 winner-takes-all prize on the line, 10 school district leaders from New Hampshire took the wheel of school buses on what was described as an “almost impossibly difficult” track with numerous hair-pin turns at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The superintendents “threw caution to the wind,” driving the buses as if they were race cars, according to an account in the Manchester Union Leader.

The winner, despite knocking down several traffic cones, was Brian Balke, superintendent in Goffstown, N.H. He planned to use the money for a new all-terrain vehicle for the school district’s athletics teams. He does not plan to race the new vehicle, though.


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.