Leadership Lite
School Administrator, April 2018

A Corral of Musicians

When one superintendent marries another superintendent, maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that students would play a substantive role in the matrimonial ceremony. That was the case when Tonya Gubin wed Dan Olson last summer at a resort in Green Lake, Wis.

Gubin, superintendent in Waupun, Wis., asked her high school’s brass quintet to perform several chamber music pieces on her big day. Olson is the superintendent in Monona Grove, Wis.

Because the five student musicians juggle jobs, national competitions in Future Farmers of America, performances with the school’s polka band and fami-ly vacations, Gubin said one of the hardest tasks in her entire wedding plan was scheduling practice sessions in the leadup to the ceremony.

Who Was That Masked Man?
To motivate students in advance of their state tests, David Dumon, superintendent of the Altar Valley School District in Tucson, Ariz., assumes a new identity at each year’s kickoff assembly.

In his first year, the superintendent became a wizard, Professor Dumondore, taking his lead from the Harry Potter character. “I waved my magic wand and sprinkled magic dust on our students to remind them that they had the magic within to succeed,” he said.

The following year Dumon was a Jedi, reminding the students that the force is within them to do well on the test. He followed that up the next year by donning a cape and mask, transforming into “Altar Valley Man.”

He added: “I finally was able to dress the part and truly become the Super-intendent!”


Caught in the Nicotine
With attention to school safety on her mind, Kimberly Moritz was driving past one of her elementary schools when she noticed a man in a heavy coat with his hood up lingering in front of the school. Moritz’s district, the Springville-Griffith Institute Central Schools, is situated in a rural community in Western New York, so there couldn’t be a good reason for anyone to be perched out there.

When the elementary principal got out to ask the man what he was doing in front of the elementary school, he responded, “I made a New Year’s resolution and promised my wife I’d quit smoking. I’m out here grabbing a smoke so she doesn’t see me!”

Moritz said she’s grateful she didn’t immediately involve the school resource officer, which would have elevated the personal consequences for the hard-to-quit smoker.

Hiring Young and Cheap
In Dover, Ohio, the school board recently turned up its original record book, covering the years 1849 through 1870. It captured some unusual transactions in the district’s early life.

In its first year, the board hired Julius Lee as its superintendent for an annual salary of $400. He was 21 at the time.
SOURCE: The Times-Reporter, Dover-New Philadelphia, Ohio

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.