Schools need bold, fearless, and innovative leadership more than ever, but school leaders have been back on their heels for at least the past two years and have allowed others to hijack our narrative, something we ought to be directing. We now find ourselves intimidated by the loudest parents, the most partisan school boards, the most over-the-top media figures, and the most cynical politicians. Sadly, we’ve had to consistently play defense while the heroic work of our teachers, administrators and staff members has been largely ignored and certainly unappreciated. The national teacher shortage should surprise no one. Lack of support, lousy pay, and a casual disregard for the value of our teachers has left current and potential teachers discouraged and uninspired. We need to stand up for our folks, demonstrate boldness, recapture the message, encourage the beaten down, and embolden those who genuinely care about the future of our kids!
David C. Jeck is currently serving in his 15th year as a public school superintendent. A former high school teacher, coach, and principal, Dr. Jeck has demonstrated courageous leadership at every turn, and he has championed a leadership philosophy that always puts children first.
Section One: Pilotage
Chapter 1: Turkeys and Eagles
Chapter 2: The Stuff They Don't Tell You
Chapter 3: Choose the Right Path
Section Two: Fixing the Things That Need to Be Fixed
Chapter 8: Follow the Money, Because It Is About the Money!
Chapter 9: It's (Really) Okay to Fail
Chapter 10: From Brittle to Resilient
Chapter 11: The Assessment-Instruction Relationship
Chapter 12: We Started This Mess and Now We Have to Clean It Up!
Chapter 13: It's Here and It's Real
Chapter 14: It Takes Every Single One of Us
Section Three: Relationships, Spirituality, and "The Boss"
Chapter 15: Kids Need YOU!
Chapter 16: It Only Takes One
Chapter 17: Out of the Mouths of Babes
Chapter 18: Three Letters from Teddy
Chapter 19: Social Media: A Love/Hate Story
Chapter 20: My Friend Todd
Chapter 21: This Is for Those Who Hate Email
Chapter 22: Just Stop Complaining
Chapter 23: Because No One Else Will
Chapter 24: Tragedy Is Tragic No Matter Who You Are
Chapter 25: Pivoting, Going on the Offensive, and Growing Up
David Jeck has gifted us with this must-read primer on how to be an effective educational leader, as well as a roadmap on how to use our life to have a meaningful and positive impact on others.
This book is a fascinating, yet necessary, analysis on the uncomfortable issues facing school leaders, how we got here, and the opportunities each issue presents to improve the lives of our students, staff, and community. Dave masterfully infuses humor, personal experiences, and research to deliver a roadmap to continuously improve as an effective leader. Dave’s insights take readers on a journey that serves as a guide for both aspiring and current leaders. Further, it can elevate discussions when used as a book study for school and district leadership teams as they continue to build effectiveness, equity, and fairness into an existing culture. Do yourself a favor by reading Courageous School Leadership You will enjoy the ride.
Nelson Mandela said, "There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than how it treats its children." Courageous School Leadership, with its stories, humor, and flair for being direct, provides affirmation for educators who, like Dave, have a dogged determination to do what's right for every child who enters our schools. Our children desperately need leaders like Dave - leaders who are bold in their love for children and accept nothing less from their colleagues and community. Reading this book is a fabulous opportunity to reconnect with your "why."
Author David Jeck offers great insights as a learner and leader. His rich experiences as a student, teacher, principal, and superintendent provide both inspiration and practical advice that is critically needed for today’s school leaders. He writes from the heart about how leaders are uniquely positioned to help students and staff become "the best version of themselves." I highly recommend this book for aspiring leaders, and for anyone needing a pick-me-up in the midst of challenging times.
Courageous School Leadership Is just the guide leaders need to help them see the "forest through the trees.” In this practical, plainly spoken text, Dr. David Jeck brings to the fore all of the leadership qualities and challenges we face and forces the reader to “lean into leadership” and not shy away. This book is rooted in the moral, ethical, and emotional obligation leaders, especially Dr. Jeck, have to ensure schools and divisions thrive…not to mention Dr. Jeck injects humor and fun into his writing to capture the reader. This is a must read for not only emerging leaders but also leaders who have been on their heels "playing defense” for the past several years…the book steels you for proactive movement.
Courageous School Leadership by David Jeck comes to us just at the right time. Filled with a lifetime of practical wisdom that is both refreshing and authentic, this book will challenge your thinking in meaningful ways and remind us that how we respond to the concerns of others can make all of the difference in lives of our students, staff and community.