August 2022: School Administrator

August 2022 School Administrator Cover
Leading Communities Through Tragedy: Staff Wellness

This issue examines healing-centered leadership — how superintendents can balance collective trauma with their duty to lead.


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Editor's Note

Dialed in for Disaster

No one enters the school leadership field ever expecting to deal with natural disaster, much less studies in doctoral classes how you lead an organization effectively through the worst of times. You might anticipate your toughest challenges right now to come from staffing classrooms with talented teachers or addressing the behavioral needs of students coming out of a public health crisis.

Over the last two years, what superintendents Rob Anderson, Karl Bruchhaus and Richard Rye confronted in their school systems in Colorado, Louisiana and Tennessee were raging wildfires, powerful hurricane winds and devastating floods brought on by changing climate conditions. How they steered their school communities through these unforeseen crises, coordinated responses with other public agencies and attempted to preserve instructional time is shared by veteran education writer Bill Graves in his piece “Steering Through Disasters and Tragedy”.

Sharing these superintendents’ efforts to lead organizations through unprecedented circumstances seemed like an appropriate fit in an issue that starts off with attention to healing-centered leadership (page 18). Jennifer Cheatham, a former superintendent now working at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, has been studying this subject and she calls our attention to some role models, notably Baltimore’s superintendent Sonja Santelises.

Related contributions on leadership by current and former superintendents Stephen McCammon, Carrie Hruby and Jill Siler also deserve your attention this month.

Jay P. Goldman
Editor, School Administrator

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