July 1, 2018
Welcome to my new blog!
My old blogs can be found at: Blog from 2013-2018 and
I’ve been blogging in one form or another since 2009. Today I start my 26th year in public education, my 9th as a public school superintendent, and my 14th (with an eight year gap) in North Shore School District 112 in Highland Park, Illinois. Since December 2017 I have been engaged in a transition from the Deerfield Public Schools District 109 to the North Shore School District 112. During the transition from one district to another I took a few months off from blogging.
Why do I blog?? Communication is an evolving process reflective of the needs of the community, and as such, this blog and the district’s methods of communication – pushing and pulling – speaking and listening – are likely going to change and evolve as a result of needs and actions of the district and the superintendent’s office. I blog to communicate, share, reflect, listen, learn and grow as a leader.
I welcome and encourage comments and input! I am grateful to be a part of the educational system and the community. I am grateful to work with an outstanding group of educators, community members, parents, students, etc. I am grateful to learn and grow and support the learning and growth of others as the chief educational leader in the community!
As a superintendent, there are multiple ways in which I communicate. I communicate via the District website, via blogs from our teachers and administrators, via Twitter and Facebook, via the District app, via surveys and phone calls, and of course via personal, face to face communication, one on one and in group settings, like in a Town Hall Meeting. On Twitter, the new hashtag, or bookmark, for the district is #112Leads – check the hashtag on Twitter or via a web search to see messages with the district tag. I have also written a few books and published a number of magazine and journal articles. Communication is essential for a leader and I look for multiple ways to share our messages of educational excellence. On this blog I’ll mix personal thoughts and ideas, district initiatives, updates, and business, and links to content I believe will be of interest to readers.
For example, the short Video Montage of Pictures from Puerto Rico Relief Through Leadership Mission June 2018 highlights a recent service trip in which I was a part. A group of Lake and Cook County, IL superintendents, principals, business partners went to Rio Grande, Puerto Rico to launch a service and relief partnership. From painting, light concrete work, supply donations and computer donations, we also started to form relationships with teachers, administrators, and community members. Our aim is to connect teachers in our districts with teachers in the school La Escuela Rafael de Jesus for an ongoing partnership. We plan to come back and continue our work and support. Members of our team me with representatives in the Puerto Rican House of Representatives. More on this later…
This week in our district we’ll be launching a Thought Exchange community engagement survey/engagement as we’re going to hit the ground running in terms of listening and learning.
Once “live” the Thought Exchange will be seeking communication on district configuration (priorities, potential school closures, potential boundary changes, etc.) — from the welcome message:
The configuration of our District is one of my first priorities as your new Superintendent. Although the reality of budget constraints and closing schools presents challenges, I believe by drawing on the strengths of our District and working together, we can address these challenges head on. I know you have engaged over configuration many times over the past several years. It’s time to arrive at some decisions. To this end, we’d like to bring our community together again with this Thoughtexchange to seek your perspectives on change and as well as your hopes for our district.
On July 28th, our Long-Range Planning Committee will look at the results of this exchange along with feedback we have gathered previously. Our goal is to synthesize all findings and arrive at several configuration options for D112. By the fall, we will share specific configuration plans for you to provide input on.
For more information on Long Range Planning, please visit: https://www.nssd112.org/Long-RangePlanning
It would be very helpful for the committee to hear your thoughts on the factors that should be considered in the development of our plans.
The Transition In this time I have started to meet with members of the Board and administration, local government officials, civic leaders, foundation leaders, and others. I have also conducted a great deal of research on the last few years’ worth of configuration and reconfiguration efforts launched by previous administrators and boards. Click on the link below:
We will continue to use video, photos, and other forms of media to communicate and share our messages and to listen and learn as well.
Please check back or subscribe to the blog for automatic updates.
Please share your thoughts and feedback.