So yesterday, I “graduated” from The Ohio State University from the Accelerated Superintendent Program. I say that I “graduated” because I really did not earn a degree from OSU, but I took the course work to be able to apply through the Ohio Department of Education to be granted my Superintendent License. The program actually ended last June and I have had my superintendent license since then, but it was nice to “graduate” and be recognized for the completion of the program.
So now that I have my Superintendent license, what does that mean? When in legal terms that means that I can teach any grade level at any building. Being a former high school science teacher, I can now go back and be a kindergarten teacher if I so desire (which I do not desire :-)). It also means that I can be a principal at any level. And the main reason for the license is to be a superintendent and lead an entire district.
For me the reason I started the program was that I love to learn, I love to be able to get better at what I am currently doing and have a vision for the future. Do I want to be superintendent? Yes at some point in time, but with a district that fits with my philosophy and direction for teaching and learning.
I remember back about 18 months ago when Dr. Jack Conrath entered my office and gave me the sale pitch for becoming a superintendent and entering into the OSU program. Position and title have never meant much to me. What does mean something to me is the ability and implementation of actually making positive changes that in turn affects the teaching and learning of the staff and students in the district. The ability to improve the educational process is far more important than any title or accolades that come from it.
In my mind, the role of the superintendent is to guide the district and make it possible for those in the district to make the best possible decisions to have the most effective outcomes to positively impact teaching and learning.
So the question, I have received the most from colleagues and teaching staff is, are you leaving now? In my current position, we have a great thing going right now. All of our initiatives are fully funded and supported by all of the leaders and educators in the District. The future seems bright in terms of integrating technology into our schools and we have a definite path that has been created. If I was to move on, the new position would have to be the perfect position, and honestly, I don’t know what that would even look like. Because right now as I see it, the position I am in right now is the perfect position. But things change and I have to change as well.