Blog

Home / Blog
My Advice for New Superintendents

My Advice for New Superintendents

Uncategorized
About three months ago a few aspiring superintendents asked me what pieces of advice I would give a first year superintendent. I am sure it was an assignment for grad school – I am not that cool to be randomly approached. I rattled off a few things – that I deeply believe in – but I did not give it a ton of thought at the time. As I approach the end of my fourth year as a superintendent I forced myself to take some time to reflect and naturally meandered to a place where I was constructing a mental list of “Things I wish I would have known.” I quickly realized I was developing a much more comprehensive answer to the question I was asked months prior. So, I…
Read More
PSA for dads: Play Fortnite

PSA for dads: Play Fortnite

Uncategorized
This is written as a PSA for dads as I am one, but I assume everything said here would work for moms as well. My oldest son was five on the hardest day of my career. As a high school principal we had a student suddenly pass. I remember leading the building through a very difficult week and while I was emotional, I had not cracked. On Friday, the superintendent, my assistant principal, and I did the heart-wrenching work of cleaning out the student’s locker. I remember the drive out the parents’ house as relatively normal. I was in no way prepared for the harsh reality that was about to slap me in the face. We entered the house and the parents were incredibly thoughtful and grateful for the support…
Read More
This is getting serious . . .

This is getting serious . . .

Uncategorized
I Love Public Education I love public education . . . and I am having a hard time sleeping at night. Here is why . . . About a week ago I was doing my due diligence as a school superintendent and engaging in a conversation with a state-level legislator. As my colleagues and I were discussing the growing teacher shortage in our area I felt as though the elected official was putting the impetus back on districts to do a better job at recruiting and retaining qualified personnel. To be clear – he was right; we do need to do a better job. However, my position in the conversation was that the teacher shortage is a bigger issue that needs a more complex solution than simply expecting each individual…
Read More
#IAedchat Podcast

#IAedchat Podcast

Making Education Meaningful
I was incredibly fortunate to hang out with the #IAedchat crew (1.28.18) and have a very REAL conversation about the state of teacher evaluation in our schools and what we can do to improve it. Check it out. https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/iaedchat/episodes/2018-01-28T19_34_10-08_00
Read More
It’s Time We Had a Talk

It’s Time We Had a Talk

Uncategorized
It’s Time We Had a Talk This year, the past year of your professional life, was the easiest year you will have the rest of your life. Yes, last year. Yes, the year when a new initiative was created by someone above you that you only half-heartedly agreed with. Yes, the year when the ‘tough’ class came through your classroom or building. That year. That year was easiest year of the rest of your career. Think that is impossible. Look around. Ask your friends and colleagues. Find someone with 20 years of experience and ask them if the job has gotten any easier. Inquire if they think the demands, pressures, and sequence of changes are any easier today than they were in 1998 or 2008 or 2013. The answer is…
Read More
10 Tips for District Leaders During Hiring/Firing Season

10 Tips for District Leaders During Hiring/Firing Season

Uncategorized
I am writing this as an open letter to my colleagues as superintendents and to the Boards of Education they serve. This is hiring and firing season – actually, in reverse order. This is the time of year where evaluations and finances lead to uncomfortable recommendations to end a person’s or persons’ employment within the district. These are incredibly challenging times. They are easily the most difficult Board meetings of the year and at no time is a Board’s trust in their superintendent and administration more tested. This is difficult to talk about and a relationship strain for many Board/administrator relationships. So, I decided to take an attempt at addressing the issue in the form of ‘Tips for the Season’ with the hope that it helps to create the sometimes…
Read More
Learning from Failure

Learning from Failure

Uncategorized
The beginning of the year is wonderful. The world is very much defined by renewed enthusiasm and conviction to lead a better life in the new calendar year than the one led in the past. Twitter is a great place to see these proclamations of new focus and energy. The one word movement started by Jon Gordon has reached an enormous number of people and is profoundly important and revered in the educational community – where I spend the lion’s share of my time. As I spent time thinking about the future, I could not in good conscious jump forward without taking a look back. This exercise was healthy, but really painful. Every year I feel make progress as a leader, educator, and human being - just not enough. I…
Read More
Top 10 Educational #GameChangers of 2017

Top 10 Educational #GameChangers of 2017

Uncategorized
As we draw to the end of the calendar year, I thought it an appropriate time to highlight the educators that are truly moving things forward in our profession. The true #gamechangers. The new-year is the time for hope and renewal. For many educators, this renewal is about focus and professional growth. So, this list is to highlight the best and brightest (in my opinion) in the world of education in hopes others follow their work and follow their lead in order to create a better tomorrow for our kids. I wanted to focus not solely on who is doing great work – there are literally thousands to mention in that regard – but this list is to recognize those that are really changing the game and leading us down…
Read More
California League of Schools – Fall Conference 17

California League of Schools – Fall Conference 17

Uncategorized
I have had an incredible experience in San Diego thus far and I am sure it is going to continue to improve. What a great list of speakers and colleagues to connect. The #CLSFall17 conference has an incredible lineup of speakers and I am fortunate to be one of them. So glad I will be able to hear Julie Adams, Rosa Perez-Isiah, and Lavonna Roth (all on the same day). Click here to see the link to my presentation.
Read More