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Board-Superintendent Relationship

How Ironic!

December 14, 2017 0 Comments

Over the years, I’ve been privileged to present a number of governance keynotes and workshops at AASA, NSBA, and state K-12 association meetings. As is my custom, at the beginning of each program, I’ve typically asked for a show of …

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Board-Savvy Superintendents Know That Owners Make For Reliable Partners

October 6, 2017 0 Comments

A light bulb went off while I was sitting in on a board-superintendent-executive team work session early in my consulting career.  The superintendent, assisted by her associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction and the district’s chief financial officer, was presenting …

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Board-Savvy Superintendents Take “Caveat Emptor” to Heart

May 24, 2017 1 Comment

By all accounts, MaryEllen Elia was doing an outstanding job at the helm of the Hillsborough County Public Schools: significantly improving educational and administrative performance, building a collaborative working relationship with faculty, and launching a far-reaching teaching improvement initiative with …

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Don’t Over-rely on Human Relations in Building Your Partnership With the Board

April 27, 2017 0 Comments

The superintendent was a consummate people-person who had from the get-go paid close attention to the human dimension of her working relationship with the board during her three years at the helm of this Midwestern district.  As I learned over …

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Making Superintendent Evaluation a Powerful Relationship Building Tool

April 14, 2017 0 Comments

Truly board-savvy superintendents make sure that their board evaluates their performance at least annually, employing a well-designed process that gets the heart of the superintendent’s leadership as chief executive of her district.  Really board-savvy superintendents know that a simplistic approach …

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Kick Off 2017 By Updating Your Superintendent Governance Strategy

January 3, 2017 2 Comments

Preparing for a recent superintendent coaching session, I fine-tuned the process that I’d  developed several years ago for updating the Superintendent Governance Strategy.  All really board-savvy superintendents know that governance (encompassing the work of the board and the board- superintendent …

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Don’t Get Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

July 23, 2016 0 Comments

“I’m caught between a rock and a hard spot, and it doesn’t feel good – in fact, kind of dangerous.”  This is how the superintendent opened our one-on-one coaching session several months ago.  She went on to explain that her …

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Two Really Board-Savvy Superintendents On Board Evaluation of Their Performance

May 17, 2016 0 Comments

I got several quizzical looks when I suggested that school boards should pay close attention not only to the achievement of district-wide goals and targets when evaluating superintendent performance, but also to the superintendent’s “CEO-centric” targets. I was presenting a …

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Don’t Let an Insidious Foe Damage the Partnership With Your Board

April 14, 2016 0 Comments

ethereal octopus from the depth (Octopus vulgari)Preparing for the “Board-Savvy Superintendent” workshop I’ll be presenting later this month for the Midlands Superintendents’ Academy at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, I was reminded of a sad true story that isn’t all that uncommon in my experience.  …

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Superintendents Jose Espinoza and Nick Polyak on Building a Strong Partnership With the Board

March 3, 2016 0 Comments

I’ll never forget walking into a superintendent’s office a few years ago and finding her distraught. She’d just come out of an evaluation session with her board president and vice president, who’d informed her that her contract almost certainly wouldn’t …

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