Rookies of the year – Editor’s Note

Something on the order of 2,900 individuals spent their first year working as a school district superintendent in 200 1-2002. That’s almost 20 percent of the nation’s total pool of superintendents, a remarkable figure.

Beyond those statistics lie real lives of professional educators who’ve embarked on new adventures in their careers. In this month’s issue, we’ve tried to document the first-year superintendent experiences of three men and three women in various locations across the country. Their stories, told with the help of veteran education writer Donna Harrington-Lueker, provide a unique perch for viewing the newcomers’ triumphs and tribulations, their confirming moments and their hard-earned and lonely lessons about executive life.

I chose the six superintendents in spring 2001, a few months before they officially assumed office, on the basis of recommendations from veteran superintendents, professors of educational administration and AASA’s state association executives. Over the course of the school year, they shared their thinking, their notes and sometimes their candor through phone conversations and correspondence with Barbara Dean, an editorial assistant on the magazine’s staff. Barbara was an ideal sounding board; her husband Bill has been a superintendent for 15 years.

We’ve paired these first-year profiles, appropriately in our view, with an interesting look at a handful of superintendents who’ve continued in their leadership posts beyond the age of 70. What prompted us to examine these indefatigable veterans was this summer’s retirement of a 94-year-old superintendent in Vandercook, Mich., after 56 years in the same job. It’s an improbable streak that should serve as inspiration for those whose days as superintendents are just beginning.

Enjoy this month’s reading.

Jay P. Goldman

Voice: 703-875-0745


COPYRIGHT 2002 American Association of School Administrators

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group

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