Leadership Lite

School Administrator, September 2017

Top Boss, But Not Top Chef
With his Italian heritage, Robert Avossa figured he might have an edge in the first Superintendent’s Cook-off against a student team in Palm Beach County, Fla., where he’s the superintendent.

Avossa has family members who operate several Italian restaurants in Florida, but that lineage wasn’t enough in the head-to-head food preparation contest on Facebook Live. Avossa’s team had to prepare a dinner using a full box of ingredients that included chicken, sausage, Swiss chard, squash and eggplant for six judges from some of Palm Beach’s finest eateries.

The superintendent had to settle for a close second. An account in the Sun-Sentinel reported: “Avossa’s team aced their moist chicken cutlets and sweet spaghetti squash, but their eggplant and sausage sides were too dry.”


Sprint to the Finish
In the nick of time, Eric Pingrey was saved from one long, uncertain road trip. He had just completed an interview with the school board of the Walker-Hackensack-Akeley School District in central Minnesota for its vacant superintendency and was at the wheel of his car to begin the 808-mile trip back home to Douglas, Wyo.

The board, feeling it had heard enough compelling evidence in one sitting to offer the job, dispensed with its plan to bring back the two finalists for a day-long series of meetings and final interviews. The board sent consultant Bob Ostlund of the School Exec Connect search firm sprinting to the parking lot to tell Pingrey to come back inside, where the board made the quick return worthwhile with a three-year contract starting in August.

Berry Good Competitors
When the sports teams at Indiana’s Logansport High School take to competition, they do so as the Berries, and their mascot is Felix the Cat. Both have a basis in history, though uncertain.

The nickname, stemming from the 1920s, apparently is a reference to the loganberry. Felix debuted in 1926 when a stuffed cat was given to the top player on the school’s boys basketball team. It typically remained in the locker room, though the team brought it courtside after an especially poor first-half performance. When Logansport rebounded for a win, Felix emerged as the permanent mascot.
SOURCE: National Federation of State High School Associations

The Answer is Obvious
An elementary school teacher in Jefferson County, Ky., claimed two days of sick leave on her time sheet, but her social media account told of an entirely different status. It showed her aboard a cruise ship on those days.

Her termination letter included this line: “I lied. Okay. Now what? You gonna fire me?”
SOURCE: Kentucky School Boards Association

Short, humorous anecdotes, quips, quotations and malapropisms for this column relating to school district administration should be addressed to: Editor, School Administrator, 1615 Duke St., Alexandria, VA 22314. Fax: 703-841-1543. E-mail: magazine@aasa.org. Upon request, names may be withheld in print.