I’m pleased to announce my new superintendency that commenced on July 1. While it’s been a joyous eight months of being a dad, vacationing, getting healthy (down 103 lbs since surgery), and presenting around the country, it’s time to take the next step. Don’t get me wrong; it was amazing to be compensated and then some to live the way I did, but it was rather sad that some thought that it was the right thing to do. Oh well! My new boat along with my family thanks you; not too many dads can say they were paid to raise their kids. Onward…
The next step requires my switching two pivotal gears. The first gear has to deal with my mindset. In my previous superintendentcies, I was very focused on curriculum, schedules, and pedagogy. This is going to shift to ensuring that basic needs of life are met. I will now be circulating around acquiring and providing clean clothes, hot meals, and supplies that a learner needs to succeed in school. I’ll still focus on curriculum and operations, but Maslow’s hierarchy of needs will take precedence over logos and useless presentations to folks looking to play “gotcha.”
I appreciate such a shift; it’s almost coming full circle. I began my educational career in a poor, urban school where any and all efforts were appreciated. Folks weren’t planted to cry over mascot designs or legally try to seek results of surveys (I mean, really, how much time do you really have?! And you choose to waste your energy on that?! How about your kids?!) Parents here appreciate every and anything that teachers and leaders do to further the development of their kids; they are real and will talk to you. That being said, the needs are much different. One of the needs is clean clothing. I have partnered with Whirlpool and Tide to have laundry machines and supplies donated for clean clothes on a daily basis.
The second step is unique for me and many other superintendents. Instead of being the lead social media advocate, I had language inserted stating that I will NOT be responsible. Why you ask? Because I want my stakeholders to be the ones telling our story. I have received criticism that I only send out positive messages and that I am trying to manipulate the news. I am eager to see how this experiment works. It will either be spectacular or a complete failure. However, if we don’t try, we can’t move forward with what works best. Right? So, yes, a very big change for me, but a very exciting one.