Wednesday, November 30, 2016

My Guest on District Leader, Superintendent Dr. Cindy Zurchin.

My guest this week on District Leader is Dr. Cindy Zurchin, superintendent (retired), consultant, and life coach.  Cindy started her career in education as a high school teacher for at-risk youth. She gained experience at the elementary, middle and high school levels as a teacher, assistant principal and principal in urban education. She served as an assistant superintendent and superintendent of suburban school districts. Her last assignment was as Superintendent of the Abridge Area School District in Abridge, Pennsylvania.
     Years after her discovery that school culture was the key, Cindy created the first “Whale Done!” school.  She communicated her vision to staff and parents of “catching students doing things right”.  She then led the development of the new Whale Done! culture, transforming an unruly school into a national model.  Cindy encouraged all stakeholders to employ three principle elements: Build Trust, Accentuate the Positive, and Redirect errors and negative behaviors when they occur.  
     Catch the rest of the story on our podcast, District Leader.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

District Leader: Thanksgiving Message

District Leader
Hi everyone.  I had a great conversation with Superintendent Zurchin to share with you this week on District Leader.   But instead,  we're taking a hiatus, with the hope that you have begun to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends.  We will be returning next week with my guest, Dr. Zurchin.

There is much that we can be thankful for in life. Certainly there is much that I am thankful for. We are thankful for our loved ones, our health, and more importantly, the opportunity to make a difference in the world.  As educators, the work that we do is of a higher order - transforming lives - a gift bestowed upon a few.

As you know, gratitude and generosity are values that I believe drive great leaders and great people.  Elkhart Tolle said that "It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.”   I truly believe that our calling demands nothing less.

John Wesley once wrote, “Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.”   How lucky are we that as educators we get to be in this space every day.

It is with a grateful heart that the District Leader team wishes you, our guests, and our listeners, a happy Thanksgiving.  May it be filled with great joy and peace. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

My Guest on District Leader, Superintendent Kristan Rodriguez, Ph.D.

This week on District Leader I chat with Dr. Kristan Rodriguez, Superintendent of the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District in Groton, Massachusetts.  Kristan has served in a number of district leadership positions through out her career, in the area of curriculum and instruction, including Assistant Superintendent, Director of Curriculum, and Curriculum Coordinator.  Kristan began her career as a High School English Teacher, and later served as a successful Principal and Assistant Principal.   She is currently an adjunct professor in educational leadership for three local colleges.  Kristan earned her Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Boston College, a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Gordon College, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary English Education from Boston University. 
     Kristan is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer for the Rodriguez Educational Consulting Agency. For the past fifteen years, she has been a consultant on leadership and learning, and has traveled nationally to share her expertise. Kristan has been the recipient of numerous honors including the Ansin Intercultural Research Award from Boston University.  She specializes her consulting in the application of Universal Design for Learning in educational leadership.  She co-authored a book, Universally Designed Leadership, which  is the premier title for implementing UDL in systems and schools, and was ranked in the top 100 books in Educational Administration on Amazon. 
     Catch my conversation with Kristan on iTunes, or on our website at District Leader.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Continuous Learner Blog

     As many of you know, scholarship, the belief that we are always learning, is a guiding principle in my life.   Whether I am seeking ways of building capacity, reflecting more deeply, or raising consciousness,  it is important for me to try develop greater awareness of the world around me.  One source I read is the blog.  It provides me with perspective.  Numerous friends and colleagues, as well as people I respect and follow, share their thoughts through the blogs they write
    One blog I recently discovered is written by a fellow educator, Al Solano.  His blog, Continuous Learner, captures slices of life with an educator's lens, which provides for an entertaining and informative reading experience.  Give it a read, I think you'll enjoy it. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

My Guest on District Leader, Dr. Ray Queener, Superintendent at Cambridge-Isanti Schools

"Our tagline is, 'every student, every day'".  And I take every one of those words very seriously.  When we say every student, we are not talking about some of them, a few of them, or these ones, we are talking about every student, every day."  - Ray Queener, Ed.D.

     Ray is in his fourth year as the Superintendent at Cambridge-Isanti Schools located in Cambridge, Minnesota.  He is a career educator who began teaching in 1990, with the Luck Public Schools, in Luck, WI, where he taught secondary math and was a K-12 Computer Coordinator/Coach. He has held positions throughout Minnesota as a Technology Coordinator and Director in South St. Paul School District, a Coordinator of Technology in Rosemount-Eagan-Apple Valley School District, the Director of Support Services in Rosemount-Eagan-Apple Valley along with Director of Finance in Rosemount-Eagan-Apple Valley. He later became Director of Finance for Stillwater Area Public Schools, then onto Assistant Superintendent in Stillwater where he served until June, 2013. Ray was selected as the Superintendent for the Cambridge-Isaniti Public Schools beginning July 2013, which is the position he holds today.
     Ray has identified priorities and initiated steps which have helped in determining the success of programs in district-level departments. With continuing growth, Ray is committed to making the lives of all students the best they can be, and the greatest opportunity for ALL of them to gain constant growth in student achievement.  Ray is a huge advocate for professional development and continuing to learn the 21st Century way. He is part of MASA (Minnesota Association of School Administrators), AASA (American Association of School Administrators), ASCD (Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development), ISTE (International Society of Technology in Education), SEE (Schools for Equity in Education) which he is on the executive board, SEE (Legislative Committee for Schools for Equity in Education), and Cambridge-Isanti Rotary Club

Catch the interview on iTunes