Perspectives and Reflections for the Superintendent: What Can Be Learned from Experience? focuses on the many challenges and opportunities facing school district superintendents and other school leaders on a regular basis. It cites numerous, actual events which are described and explained regarding best practices. The chapters emphasize the importance of experience and preparation, and provide examples, experiences, scenarios, takeaways, tools, and more with respect to the superintendent and the aspiring superintendent. Additionally, tips on establishing and maintaining a positive relationship with the school board are given—a relationship which is paramount for the superintendent and the school district to be successful.
Perhaps one of the more important observations conveyed in the text is the need for the school board, the staff, and everyone interested in the schooling process to work together. Without collaboration among all parties concerned, stagnation will fester, and nothing worthwhile will be accomplished. Other topics presented include conflict resolution, ethics, high-performing teams, lessons learned, and ways to cultivate positive community relations. This book is practical for the seated superintendent and essential for the aspiring superintendent.
Dr. Samuel A. DePaul began his career as a biology and chemistry teacher, transitioned into school administration as a high school principal, and then spent thirty years as a school district superintendent. Presently, he serves as executive director of the North GA RESA. His undergraduate work was at Geneva College, his master’s at Westminster College, and his Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh. He has been a member of AASA since 1988. Dr. DePaul and his wife reside in Talking Rock, GA; they have a son, daughter-in-law, and two beautiful granddaughters residing in Philadelphia, PA.
Foreword by Dr. Mark Wilson
Chapter 1. Preparation for the Position of Superintendent
Chapter 2. Leadership and the Superintendent
Chapter 3. Challenges and Opportunities of the Superintendent
Chapter 4. Roles and Responsibilities of the Superintendent and School Board
Chapter 5. Ethics and the Superintendent and School Board Members
Chapter 6. The Importance of Committees and Teams to the Superintendent
Chapter 7. Conflict Resolution
Chapter 8. Cultivating Positive Community Relations and Partnerships
Chapter 9. Proven Effective Tools from the Toolbox
Chapter 10. Lessons Learned
About the Author
From preparation to implementation, math class to cheerleading tryouts, bus drivers to school board members, honoring traditions to innovating with new ideas, and historical knowledge to constant changes, Dr. Samuel A. DePaul shares his wealth of knowledge and experience to help guide current and future educational leaders. His advice, wisdom, and stories serve as an inspiration for those who continue to choose to lead our schools, staff, students, and communities.
Samuel A. DePaul’s path to the superintendency is amazingly similar to mine, so his reflections really hit home for me. The practical takeaways he provides from his experiences are invaluable for any school leader. I only wish Perspectives and Reflections for the Superintendent: What Can Be Learned from Experience? would have been available before I became a superintendent.
In Perspectives and Reflections for the Superintendent: What Can Be Learned from Experience? Dr. Samuel A. DePaul offers good, no-nonsense advice for any school administrator, whether upcoming, brand new, or seasoned. He presents possible solutions to everyday problems in an easy-to-read format that outlines how becoming a successful administrator can be learned and mastered—thereby showing how any good leader can adapt techniques to help them be more successful. His focus on the superintendency role is especially invaluable and can possibly save superintendents from those missteps that often cause headaches and heartaches. It would behoove any administrator to put into practice the concepts included in this writing.
Dr. DePaul provides a rare glimpse into the daily challenges for school superintendents. Sharing real-life scenarios and offering practical solutions, Perspectives and Reflections for the Superintendent reads like a collection of educational nuggets of wisdom for any aspiring or sitting superintendent. An easy, down-to-earth read with a wealth of perspective that one cannot get from attaining a traditional administration degree.
Samuel A. DePaul shares highlights of his 30 years of experience as a superintendent in his book, Perspectives and Reflections for the Superintendent. Drawing on his service as the top leader in five different school districts in three states, DePaul provides examples of the opportunities and challenges faced by superintendents. While not exactly a how-to manual, DePaul not only points out some pitfalls to avoid but encourages several practices that assured him success in each of his five leadership positions. [I] highly recommend this work.