From Surviving to Thriving: Resources and Practical Strategies for New, Aspiring, and Veteran Superintendents provides key actions and behaviors superintendents can use to be successful in their role. This text takes a topical approach, with each chapter dedicated to one key aspect of the superintendency. Included in this book are simple, easy-to-implement strategies that serve as a guide to support the leadership and development of any aspiring, new, or veteran superintendent. Key elements of the superintendent role are included and expanded upon. Focused chapters include: superintendent and school board relations, instructional leadership, budget development, relationship building, personnel management, communication strategies, developing and accessing a network of support, and leading through crises. Each chapter articulates one critical area that should be mastered in order to flourish in the superintendency. This text is written and designed to be brief and easy to read for the busy superintendent. Each chapter offers specific advice, strategic approaches, dos and don'ts, and useful strategies to ensure the success of a school superintendent as we navigate the complexities of the role.
Rich Drolet, EdD, has served as Superintendent of Schools in Seekonk, Massachusetts, since 2018. Prior to becoming superintendent, he was a district-wide curriculum director, principal and assistant principal at the middle level, and teacher at the middle and elementary levels.
Armand Pires, PhD, has served as Superintendent of Schools in Medway, Massachusetts since 2015. Prior to this role he served as assistant superintendent, director of curriculum, principal and assistant principal at the middle and high school level, as well as a teacher at the middle and high school level.
Chapter 1 - Welcome to the Superintendency
Chapter 2 - Keep the Focus on Kids!
Chapter 3 - Making New Friends
Chapter 4 - Show Me the Money!
Chapter 5 - Relationship Building
Chapter 6 - The Joys of Personnel Management
Chapter 7 - Hear Ye, Hear Ye!
Chapter 8 - I Need Help!
Chapter 9 - The Sky is Falling
Chapter 10 - Pulling It All Together
About the Authors
From Surviving to Thriving: Resources and Advice for New, Aspiring, and Veteran Superintendents is such a welcome read for new superintendents given the increasing number of new superintendents as a result of a ballooning superintendent turnover rate. Experienced superintendents as well, who are navigating the changing responsibilities of school district leaders, are provided a common sense perspective important to their emerging everyday work. This is one of the “best books” to support superintendents in ways to minimize the pitfalls they potentially face every day. Armand and Rich are able to describe the functions and responsibilities of superintendents in a practical way and provide effective strategies drawn from their experiences. Each chapter opens with a superintendent's experience then provides context and perspective. Chapters cover critical topics including teaching and learning, personnel, nurturing relationships with multiple stakeholders, creating networks, critical communication, and leading through crisis and conflict. This book on the work of superintendents is different than most. It draws from the writers' practical and personal journey that can help new superintendents organize their thinking while engaging in strategies that work, and for experienced superintendents as they navigate the complexities of their job.
You are the one in that chair. You are the one who answers 5, 7, or 9 board members who don’t work in school but determine whether or not you are doing a good job. You are the one who answers to the community. That gets isolating. From Surviving to Thriving: Resources and Advice for New, Aspiring, and Veteran Superintendents helps you build the capacity and to address the isolation that comes with the job. From effective communication to building relationships, it is a practical guide that provides a roadmap for success in your first year as a superintendent or your tenth.
Beyond their formal education, the real test for a superintendent’s survival and ability to thrive is how well they deal with the myriad issues faced every day. The most valued resource for any superintendent is the networking they experience with colleagues. My frequent message to superintendents is to learn from the experiences of others - “a neighboring superintendent’s problem today is often your problem tomorrow.” From Surviving to Thriving: Resources and Advice for Aspiring, New and Veteran Superintendents is a terrific practitioner’s guide of best practices which can help every superintendent strategize the many complex challenges they face. The book reminds us of how important It is to build your success on strong relationships with clear and consistent communication skills. The authors do this using examples of actual experiences superintendents face every day.This is a must read for aspiring and new superintendents and for veteran superintendents the book is a valuable tool for self -reflection.
In From Surviving to Thriving: Resources and Advice for New, Aspiring, and Veteran Superintendents, Rich and Armand have provided readers with a thorough education that guides them through the many facets, nuances, and challenges of the superintendency. Grounded in reflection and vulnerability, and centered around relationships with all constituents from school boards, to teachers, staff, families, students, community members, and other superintendents, the chapters are packed with lessons learned to help superintendents navigate the complex landscape of their roles. This book is a must-have that delivers practical strategies, targeted recommendations, and situational advice that will support the success of both new and experienced superintendents alike!
During my career, I had the privilege of leading districts and serving its students, staff, and community. The superintendency, while rewarding, continues to become more challenging and complicated. But, with the right strategies, those challenges can be successfully overcome. The practical strategies outlined in this book are rooted in proven success and provide a roadmap for navigating the complex landscape of the superintendency. Whether you're just starting out or looking for new ideas, this book is a must-read for anyone committed to making a positive impact on students and schools.