April 2022: School Administrator
Gentrifying Neighborhoods Open Opportunities for School Integration
When school leaders and educators respond to gentrification in proactive, sustainable and culturally responsive ways, gentrification can be a catalyst for integration.
Navigating Discussions of Race and Class
A superintendent’s candid self-reflections of how it all played out in his Missouri district through the use of an after-action review
Viewing the World Differently
If the priority is serving students well, then educators must understand their cultural identities and act to change learners’ attitudes
What superintendents plan to do after leaving their posts.
A Hefty Gift of Appreciation
Grateful parents of a young student during the pandemic give the principal a pair of front-row concert tickets, but he wonders if he ought to accept.
Balancing Body Camera Use in Schools
An attorney examines the mixed picture of video images and what to do about footage captured outside on school grounds.
Pushing Policy as Board Committee Driver
Practical ways to prevent your school board subcommittees from burying staff in extraneous assignments.
Passion for The Beatles and the Power of Analogies
Analogies tied to his favorite musicians’ song titles lend an offbeat view of tackling organizational leadership.
Our ‘Sinister’ Agendas
An Iowa superintendent has strong words for wrongheaded legislators who see devious deeds in the work of public school leaders.
Lead Like a Good Run
What constitutes a good jog can lend us insights on leading an organization at the proper pace.
School Resource Officers Deserve a Continuing Role
Reframing the debate over assigning law enforcement personnel inside schools.
On Equity in Education
The responsibility of education leaders to ensure success for every child.
Politicization, Pandemic Threaten Our ‘Equitable’ Mission
AASA’s long history of looking out for marginalized students.
Unflappable Presence With a Steady Hand
The suburban St. Louis superintendent named the 2022 National Superintendent of the Year manages rapid growth and politicization with a measured demeanor.
Reviewing One’s Big Decisions
Peter Stiepleman first contacted me last summer. He had just completed a solid seven-year run as the superintendent in Columbia, Mo., and was the reigning Missouri Superintendent of the Year. Stiepleman was starting a sabbatical year to write and reflect.
Having had a satisfying experience with AASA a couple of years prior as a graduate of the AASA Superintendent Certification program, he asked about the possibilities we might offer for sharing his professional reflections on school system leadership.
As he noted during our conversation, superintendents often don’t have the time to engage in after-action reviews of their work. “We don’t get to ask ourselves what got overlooked or what we learned about relationships — or what relationships were formed,” he told me. “We don’t get to explore what made us angry or what we, personally, could have done differently. We don’t get to, in the end, say what good came out of the experience. Hospital administrators do this regularly. The military does this routinely. Not school administrators, though.”
Stiepleman is nearing completion of a book project deconstructing the big decisions he had to make over his years in central-office leadership and as superintendent in Columbia, a district of 19,000 students with urban, suburban and rural characteristics.
His article for us, “Navigating Discussions of Race and Class,” draws from the personal journals he maintained and applies honest reflection.