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Guest Thinkers

Superintendent As Visionary

I have the pleasure of being the second guest blogger.  Thank you, Scott, for this opportunity.  I am the principal at DeGrazia Elementary School as well as a doctoral student in educational leadership at the University of Arizona.  I have my own blog, which focuses on DeGrazia and school leadership.  I write from the perspective of a school administrator who not only loves technology but is deeply concerned about technology getting lost in the shuffle as K-12 education marches toward the year 2014.

What is the superintendent’s role in ensuring that schools are utilizing cutting edge technologies and preparing students for a technology-rich society?  I would argue that the superintendent’s role is to lead the charge.  The role is pivotal so I originally named this post ‘Superintendent as Tech Leader’, and then it occurred to me that it isn’t just about technology.  If technology in schools is about a stand-alone concept or department, then we will miss the mark in educating students and preparing them for a world that was unimaginable just a short time ago.  It is about the superintendent having a vision of what is possible despite the critics, tight budgets, and external pressures.  It is about technology being woven into the very fabric of our school districts in such a way that it impacts the foundation of what we are here for, which is teaching and learning.  It is about a superintendent engaging the school district community in a vision of what the students need for the future.  It is about a collective dream that is turned into a reality for our schools.  I will write tomorrow about one such plan that I think gives hope for the future.

A superintendent and a school district community had a vision of what could be produced when old models were set aside.  This example of visionary leadership can be found at Empire High School.  They are charting new territory.  What other examples are out there?  Are there other school districts on the forefront of innovation and risk taking in educating students for the world we live in and the world we know is coming?

A final thought:

Visionaries have paradigms that allow for the possible to be dreamed and created out of the seemingly impossible.

“In times of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves beautifully equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.”  Eric Hoffer

Posted by Steve Poling


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