Leadership Lite

School Administrator, September 2015

Leadership Lite
Illustration by Tim Haggerty
The Losing Bettor on Public Display 


In front of his school board, David Goodin, superintendent of the Spring-Ford Area School District in Royersford, Pa., agreed to a bet he did not expect to lose to Allyn Roche, an assistant superintendent, over the former’s athletic fitness.

The proposition was this: If Goodin finished ahead of his colleague in a 5K run/walk to support the district’s education foundation, Roche would fully shave his head. But if Roche’s 7-year-old son Cooper finished ahead of the superintendent, Goodin would agree to spend a full day working in a trophy case at the high school.

When the unexpected somehow happened, the superintendent held up his part of the bargain, working 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a laptop and reading material on display for all to observe in the central hallway.

Source: Phoenix Reporter, Pottstown, Pa.

A Chilly Workplace

As an incentive to get students to contribute to a food drive benefitting a community program for needy families, Michael Poore, superintendent in Bentonville, Ark., pledged this: He would move his workplace for a day to the roof of the school district administrative headquarters once the goal was reached.

He’s a man of his word. A photograph in February appearing in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette shows Poore in a winter parka at a rooftop worktable surrounded by a couple of inches of snow.

Not the School Day She Remembered

For Lisa Snyder, superintendent in the Lakeville, Minn., school district, going back to school required some personal adjustment. It had been a long time since she spent a full day moving from one class to another on a schedule.

Snyder agreed to shadow a high school junior who won a Facebook contest. The superintendent especially loved being permitted to drink coffee during an early-morning class — quite a departure from her own high school days in the late 1970s. She also noted students completing academic work on smartphones, tablets and laptops — largely without abusing the privilege.

“The only person who forgot to silence their phone was me,” Snyder told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Out With Attire and the Job

Janice Adams didn’t wait until her last day as a superintendent to start shedding her wardrobe.

Six months before she retired in June as superintendent of the 5,000-student Benicia Unified School District in the San Francisco Bay Area, Adams began to donate her business attire to charities. This included, according to the Vallejo Times Herald, “one outfit she would rather shear than wear.”

After eight years running the Benicia schools and 42 years in all as an educator, Adams said: “I’m never going to wear this brown suit again. I never did like that suit.”

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.