Insider Scoop.

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a superintendent is the continuous learning journey, where I’ve had the privilege of discovering new knowledge and skills that I never knew I needed (such as navigating lawsuits, managing bus routes, and overseeing school construction).  Now, in my role as a coach/consultant, I am honored to continue…

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Effective Districts Focus on District-Wide Goals.

Aligning District Goals and Superintendent Evaluation. As a new superintendent in Seattle Public Schools, I found that we had superintendent goals, board goals, strategic plan goals, equity goals, and many more in addition to our school improvement plans.  Over time we narrowed those to ONE set of goals. Research The research on effective districts (Waters…

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Goalposts and Driving for the Finish Line

Most Strategic Plans Fail Set goals and goalposts for success. 70-90% of strategic plan initiatives fail to achieve their expected results (Kotter, Flyvbjerg). Those who succeed take—on average—four years of continuous work (Collins). Achieving strategic goals demands clear alignment and a relentless focus on execution. Use this check list to deliver on your goals. Goals:…

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Vital Signs for Education

Vital Signs for Education 4-minute recap of this month’s blogs “Vital signs” measure our essential bodily functions like pulse rate, temperature, respiration, and blood pressure. Vital signs tell us when our body is distressed and needs medical attention.   Education in Distress Public discourse is contentious. Mental health is compromised for kids and adults. Education seems…

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District Goals – Key to Success

District Goals – Key to Success 4-minute read Four years + four goals = student success. Focused goals, well monitored, improve learning Reeves reports that:  Focus is a prerequisite for school improvement. Focus had the highest relationship with student achievement  Focus, with effective monitoring, and adult efficacy yielded strikingly positive results for all students and…

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Leadership Voice

Larry Nyland

Leadership Voice … in support of racial equity  “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” This quote likely comes from John Stuart Mill’s inaugural address in 1867. “Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no…

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Strategic Voice

grayscale photo of person holding glass

Strategic Voice – A Review of … Strategic Planning: An Interactive Process for Leaders By Dan R Ebener, and Frederick L Smith, 2015, Paulist Press Strategic Voice   Looking ahead builds forward momentum.  Post-pandemic we need fresh voices for the future.  This short book offers great ideas for engaging staff and community in strategic thinking and…

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Student Voice

smiling woman in gray hoodie beside smiling boy in blue and red jacket

Know better … Do Better … Listening to Student Voice Want to build back better? Listen to student voice. Students are in class all day every day.  Their wisdom will astound you.  And hopefully change you for the better.   Those are some of the take-aways from this interview with Jenn McDermott, Director of Innovative Initiatives…

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Great Ideas – Federal Way – Board of the Year

An Interview with Dr. Tammy Campbell … Federal Way Supt … Board of the Year 2020 The Federal Way Public School’s Board of Directors was named Board of the Year for 2020 by the Washington State School Directors Association AND recognized as a school of distinction for five years in a row.  They were recognized…

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Review: Nine Lies About Work

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Review:  Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World  by Marcus Buckingham  and Ashley Goodall https://store.hbr.org/product/nine-lies-about-work-a-freethinking-leader-s-guide-to-the-real-world/10214 Marcus Buckingham Many of Buckingham’s earlier books have been best sellers:  First Break All the Rules, The Truth About You, and GO Put Your Strengths to Work.  He turns number crunching – from 1000s of participants…

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