Friday, June 5, 2009

School Year Hangover

It's Friday and the kids and teachers have left for the summer, leaving me with my usual feeling that I can't quite describe. It's something similar to a hangover but may be more like jet lag. Better yet, I feel like I've been running a 200-day ultra marathon since reporting back to work last August. When I did show up to get the year going, I was principal of a 6-12 school struggling to figure out how to get us over the student achievement hurdle. Since then:

  • An unexpected resignation put me in the driver seat as superintendent two months into the school year.
  • I weathered the resignation of the school-board president and a local media frenzy looking to kick an injured dog while it's down.
  • Made a number of administrative leadership changes designed to get us out of a rut and move the district forward.
  • Passed a small bond issue and accomplished a number of major "repairs" on a weak plan to add classroom space.
  • Took steps to help with the transformation of the district to a 21st century, technology-based learning culture.
  • Brought staff together and opened up the communication process to a point of near-total transparency.
And, we did all of this while cutting more than a million dollars out of our budget with few negative impacts on our programs and staff.

It was a good year, but please pass the aspirin.