September 2023: School Administrator
The ‘Care and Feeding’ of School Boards
Nine tips from the trenches and what they really mean about survival for a new superintendent.
The ‘Mockingbird’ Effect
What’s behind the paucity of Black superintendents, and what can be done to raise their representation in public school leadership?
To Cap or Not to Cap?
State legislative limits on superintendent salaries carry negative ramifications, according to various data studies.
The means through which district leaders land their top positions.
A Pedagogical Purpose for the N-Word?
A superintendent teaching the historical impact of racism in a graduate school law course wants to quote a U.S. senator’s use of a racial slur.
Credible Investigations of Employee Wrongdoing
An attorney’s advice for ensuring the inquest into a staff member’s actions will be helpful and defensible in the end.
Energizing the Disengaged Board Member
When someone appears to withdraw from board duties, does the superintendent have a responsibility to intervene?
Mental Health Support Beyond Digital Citizenship
A school district employs a social media mental health specialist to better understand the scope of the problem and mitigate negative effects.
Make Joy a Priority in District Recovery
Inspiring upbeat feelings will require visibility of the top leader across the school district.
Solving for the Why in Public Education (Thanks to Algebra)
That long-ago foundational math class came in handy when sorting out variables and constants in school leadership.
Painting a Portrait
An overdue need to break the glass ceiling for women and superintendents of color.
Identifying the Next Innovators-in-Chief
Building more capacity in the ever-challenging role of the superintendency.
Val Verde Reimagines Learning With Eyes on Students’ Futures
Twelfth in a series about AASA demonstration districts spotlights the Val Verde Unified School District in California.
Sidelight: Oskar Scheikl
A veteran superintendent takes up skydiving.
Raising Expectations, Then Raising Results
The superintendent in Douglas County, Ga., pushes staff to keep high expectations for all students.
A Current Portrayal of the Superintendency
The pandemic influenced many aspects of K-12 education, and that includes how someone successfully lands a job as a superintendent. This is the subject addressed in our cover story by Max McGee, a former superintendent on state and local levels who now runs the country’s largest executive search firm for superintendents. He details what school boards are most eager to see in their strongest candidates.
We’ve called on a series of contributors in this month’s issue with a wealth of experiences in and research knowledge about school system leadership. Steve Joel, newly retired after 37 years as a superintendent, describes how a newly hired superintendent can make the most of the honeymoon period with the school board, and Scott Robison, another recent retiree, writes about succession planning in school districts’ top roles.
A pair of veteran school governance consultants, Rick Maloney and Bob Hughes, share candid board relationship advice for superintendents, while Shawn Joseph, another former superintendent, lends his thoughts on why there’s a paucity of Black educators reaching the superintendency. Finally, Chris Tienken, who consults with AASA on superintendency studies, analyzes the impact of states that impose salary limits on their superintendents.
All of their contributions add up to an informative portrayal of a contemporary career in the superintendency. We welcome your feedback.