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Leadership in education requires a collaborative, team approach. As a superintendent, it was my responsibility to create a team to lead in the direction set for us by the Board of Trustees. This work began by assembling a team of individuals with a variety of skill sets and backgrounds but with a shared and unwavering belief that all students can learn at high levels and that it is our collective responsibility to ensure that it occurs. Our leadership team cared about one another personally and professionally and were committed a collaborative style in which we brought ideas from conception to implementation as a supportive team. Our meetings were focused on student learning and were a safe place to problem solve, reflect, share and give constructive feedback. My own success as a superintendent was a reflection of my team’s growth and accomplishments.
School leadership should be inclusive of the teacher voice. As a superintendent, I worked to establish a reliable system of teacher leadership. When I came to the district it quickly became apparent that teachers saw themselves and their work as separate and distinctly different than administrators. There was little understanding of leadership and no structures to work together. In order to flatten the organizational structure, we worked with the union to negotiate new teacher leader positions so that we could have the power to work together to create a Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum and improve instruction. Once the structure was created and the positions filled, we invested in several years of significant professional development in order to build the leadership capacity of our teacher leaders. The end result was a newfound collaboration between all staff members on behalf of our students.