Leadership Lite
School Administrator, May 2019

Undercover on the Job
Scott Bailey sought to boost the morale of the sometimes underappreciated classified staff soon after he joined the Desert Sands Unified Schools in La Quin-ta, Calif., as superintendent. His unconventional tack: Go undercover and give them an unexpected hand on their jobs.

Bailey took on wacky disguises (they didn’t truly hide his identity) as he slipped into work duties for a day with, successively, the nutrition services team as a meal prep worker, the transportation department as a substitute bus driver and the security team as an officer posted at a school entrance. Soon to come: A day in the school district’s payroll department. Will havoc follow?

Bailey’s communication staff ensured the offbeat activities of the superintendent would command plenty of attention by arranging for a student to film him at each job venue. The video series, posted on the district’s website, is titled “Not So Undercover Sup.”
SOURCE: Mary E.B. Perry, Desert Sands Unified School District

The Boss Is a Bus Guy
In order to fully appreciate the various jobs that keep a school district functioning, Adam Koch decided it would be appropriate to get certified as a school bus driver.

Members of the transportation staff in the Otsego Local School District in Ohio said it was weird to train the superintendent. Koch had to complete 25 hours of driving and a 90-minute written test before passing a physical exam and a drug test prior to moving behind the wheel in an official capacity.

During his first few weeks as a certified bus operator, Koch wasn’t needed as a substitute driver.
SOURCE: WTOL-TV, Toledo, Ohio

Distinctive Start
On her first day as a superintendent, Susana Cordova got to do something few in the field have the chance to do: She visited the elementary school that she attended four decades earlier as a student.

Cordova’s tenure as Denver’s new superintendent began with a festive morning assembly at Barnum Elementary School. To lend proof to Cordova’s earlier presence at the school, an oversized printout of her 4th-grade photo — replete with straight-cut bangs and dimples — appeared on the wall of the school gym.
SOURCE: Chalkbeat, Denver, Colo.

Gilman’s Greatest Grads
Gilman, Wis., is home to barely 400 people, but the village’s command in public school leadership extends far past its modest demographics.

Four products of the Gilman School District, which enrolls 350 students, currently serve as superintendents in the state: Timothy Micke, Athens, Wis.; Paul Schley, Cornell, Wis.; Cory Hinkel, Luck, Wis.; and Walter Leipart, Gilman, Wis. A fifth Gilman alumnus, Daryl Herrick, retired a few years ago from the Cedarburg, Wis., superintendency.

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.