The School Administrator

SA Cover November 2003

November 2003Executive CoachingBeyond mentoring, coach-client relationships raise performance


  • Executive Coaching


    Teresa Purses, superintendent of the Canton, Ohio, Local Schools, approached teacher negotiations last year knowing she really wanted to achieve a mutually beneficial contract.

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  • Why Coaching Matters


    She thought she was ready for the principalship. After all, she’d been in a leadership role as a lead technology teacher in New York for years. Renee was applying for her first principal’s job, hoping to snare a position by the beginning of the school year.

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  • Beyond Peer Coaching


    I was selected to be the superintendent of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District on the south-central coast of Alaska in March 1999. I knew from the beginning I would need to address several challenges. The previous four superintendents had served three years or less, and the central-office staff had not grown in spite of the district doubling in size and enrollment over that time.

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  • Bringing in Mac


    Our superintendent began the weekly administrative council meeting by announcing, “It is once again time to focus on our annual retreat for the leadership team.” As he watched the meeting room buzz with the sound of palm pilots cranking up and date books flying open, he couldn’t help but notice his proclamation being met with the usual half-hearted exhales from all the principals, who weren’t anxious to leave their buildings for a few days.

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  • Electronic Mentoring


    Superintendent Stephen F. Day had some timely advice for second-year high school principal Bonnie Hauber as the first day of school approached two years ago:

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  • When Coaching for Results, New Directions Emerge


    During his first year as superintendent of the Eudora, Kan., Public Schools, David Winans was invited to be part of a pilot program co-sponsored by The Brande Foundation and the National Staff Development Council to train top educators to be executive coaches.

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  • Now I Am One!


    Barry Moore was fidgeting, waiting for the phone to ring. This was the day the school board president in the Sunrise Valley School District was to announce the board’s choice for a superintendent.

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Punchback: Answering Critics

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places by TOM SALTER

As a society, we spend billions annually trying to get other people to like us. We wash, brush, primp and paint. We wear a certain brand of tennis shoe, brighten our smiles and tuck our tummies—all in hopes that people will love and admire us. However, no matter how much perfume or antiperspirant we use, somebody will think we more

Working With the Public on Big Decisions by MATT LEIGHNINGER

Many school leaders realize that the “decide-and-defend” approach to school district policymaking is a thing of the past. They know that making major decisions without involving parents and other community members can create controversy and threaten funding support. They are using more participatory strategies to avoid open conflicts, obtain useful input on major decisions and build support for implementing those more
Guest Columns

Snoop, Supe and the Pippin Seven by THOMAS HARVEY

Harmony between a school board and its superintendent is critical for the success of the school district—even though the relationship often resembles the singing of a musical more

When Will Fox TV Call a Superintendent? by ALAN C. JONES

Since retiring from school administration, I have become a regular at a health club that features 12 wide-screen television sets to view while you exercise. After 35 years of not watching daytime television, I was taken aback by the low level of discourse that characterizes most cable news shows these more
Board-Savvy Superintendent

Training Your Board To Lead by DONALD R. McADAMS

A trained board is a better board, but training does not guarantee good governance. Superintendents know some board members have personal or interest-group agendas. Some are unstable. Some are just mean-spirited. We all know board members with negative interests who don’t want to change their behavior. But training almost always improves a board, and sometimes it can make a great more
President’s Corner

A Conference Purpose for Everyone by JOHN R. LAWRENCE

Remember the story of the five blind men who were asked to describe an elephant? One described the smooth tusks; a second protested, saying the elephant was wrinkled and leathery. The third man said they were both in error, that the elephant was made of stiff, bristly hairs. The fourth and fifth expressed equally divergent more
Executive Perspective

Cleaning Out Our Closets by PAUL D. HOUSTON

A recent best-selling song by rap artist Eminem called “Cleaning Out My Closet” had resonated for me. At least the title did. While his song was a paean of pain and anger, on a much less dramatic note I can testify that cleaning out your closets can be painful and will surely stir many emotions in you. But sometimes it is something you just have to more