Reading Kimberly Moritz’s “A Personal Challenge: My Semester in 4th-Grade Band
” (My View, May 2018) made me recognize how fortunate New York is to have a leader like Moritz, who is willing to ask of herself exactly what she is asking of her staff. I also realized how fortunate the children and faculty of Springville-Griffith Institute Central School District are to have a superintendent who STRETCHES THE BOUNDARIES OF LEARNING
to include herself.
Moritz is a model leader in this state and her region because she never hesitates to take on a new challenge, whether it’s her involvement with the New York State Council of School Superintendent’s Women’s Initiative program, mentoring future leaders, presenting to colleagues on a range of issues and now diving deeply into 4th-grade band through actual participation.
Thank you, Kimberly, for making us all proud to call you a friend, colleague and, by example, a lifelong learner.
CHARLES S. DEDRICK
NEW YORK STATE COUNCIL OF SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS,
Principles for Principals
I was in total agreement with “Three Common-Sense Approaches to Share With Principals
” by Robert Rammer, assistant superintendent in Wheaton, Ill., in the June 2018 issue.
One of Rammer’s major points of emphasis was to train your principals to step away from their desk and have a face-to-face conversation with a teacher who may have just e-mailed you a concern. In most cases, I agree with this approach. Every time you put something in writing, through e-mail, text messaging or any type of social media, there is a strong possibility that the message can be instantly shared with others. The problem with sharing electronic messaging with others is that those written messages can be taken out of context.
When dealing with potential problems that arise during a busy day, addressing concerns face to face often will help you weigh the importance of the issue by witnessing the demeanor of the student, teacher, parent, administrator or community member.
A second emphasis in Rammer’s article was to always remember that you are the principal in the school and in the community 24/7. This is true whether you feel that way or not. When you appear in a restaurant, a grocery store, a concert hall or any other public venue, community members, staff and students will recognize you. How those stakeholders perceive you will influence your ability to effectively lead others.
CANYONS SCHOOL DISTRICT,
Terre Davis’s Board-Savvy Superintendent column, “Effectiveness Begins With Ongoing Communication
” (May 2018), was especially timely reading for me – just a few months before moving into my first superintendent position.
I followed up with Davis and found her helpful in suggesting some effective strategies for working on relationships with a governing board beyond the useful ideas in her magazine column.
SARA E. JOHNSON
CROOK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT,