School Administrator, June 2020
Secrets on Public Display
Superintendent Patrick Anderson drew autobiographically on his own family dynamic and his experiences as an educator to write the script of a stage play titled “School Secrets” based on a book he had published.
When the production appeared at the Alton Little Theater in Alton, Ill., not far from the Wood River-Hartford school district that he leads, the show included a playlist of pop tunes, such as “Principal’s Office” by Young MC, “Education Song” by Bruno Mars and “Parents Just Don’t Understand” by DJ Jazzy Jeff.
Said Anderson of his experience: “I remember a fellow playwright asking me if I was nervous about the production. I said I was a little nervous. He told me I should be a whole lot nervous because 90 percent of the people who bought my book didn’t read it, but 100 percent of the people watching the play will watch it! … Then I got nervous.”
Nick’s Cannonball Express
Growing impatient by delays in taking occupancy of a $55 million addition to East Leyden High School in Franklin Park, Ill., superintendent Nick Polyak added a little suspense to the long-anticipated opening. Polyak started telling everyone around him that once the new swimming pool was open for use, he would be the first one in.
He made it a special moment, wearing a full business suit with a tie for a dive off the board. (He considered it an old suit and threw it out afterward.)
The moment was captured on video by four school faculty members — who along with Polyak had just finished their weekly before-school basketball game in the school gym.
Upon surfacing, Polyak declared the new pool “open for business as of tomorrow!
Goats 2, Weeds 0
Thick vegetation covered the steep hillside terrain adjacent to the sports stadium in the Norwin School District in North Hunting-don, Pa., making access by maintenance staff and lawn mowers somewhat treacherous.
So the Norwin leadership contracted with Nuisance Wildlife Solutions to bring in a herd of goats to handle the job. A few weeks of overgrown weed consumption also was expected to resolve a second nuisance to the school system — groundhogs making residence near Norwin Knights Stadium.
Norwin superintendent Jeff Taylor scored a double victory off the playing field. The distinctive method of landscape maintenance was both cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
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