Mentor an assistant superintendent in each district for 12 months in topics, processes, and skills needed to be the district leader and to be recommended for the certificate for the position of superintendent of schools.
Industry: Education PK-12 Districts and Schools
Project Type: Mentoring candidate growth in knowledge and ability to serve as a district superintendent.
Use the DOE and ASA guidelines for mentoring superintendent candidates. Structure an individualized growth plan to build understanding of the range of job responsibilities, knowledge required to make appropriate decisions, and carry out interactions with many stakeholder groups. GTSD was a grades K-8 district with 11 schools; and the HTSD was a PK-12 district with 23 schools.
LE structured activities over a year that took advantage of the candidate’s strengths and prior experiences to establish expertise in all responsibilities of the superintendent. Candidate and mentor met once or twice per month to plan the program, review assignments and create new ones, review and oversee progress on tasks started at prior meetings, discuss and assess results, and make adjustments when needed to successfully complete assignments. LE conducted three evaluations of progress and recommended or not the candidate for certification to the state department of education.
The mentor developed a series of questions to guide the acquisition of knowledge and skill needed for each developing area of expertise. The twelve areas of expertise follow: Board of Education Operations and Relations; Collegial Management, Participatory Decision Making, and Professional Governance; District Financial, Legal, and Business Operations; District Planning and Policy Formation; Government and Community Relations; Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining; Management of District Operations; Roles in Supervision and Evaluation of Central Office Staff and School Principals; School Facilities; School Law; Student Performance; and Supervision of District-Wide Programs of Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Services.
The mentor and candidate structured experiences to document existing and new areas of expertise and to answer questions. Tasks were scheduled each month and related questions and accomplishments were reviewed. When satisfactory results were evident, the mentor signed-off on project progress sheets. Then, the mentor and candidate moved to the next area of growth.
Candidates, through tasks that the superintendent normally does, in simulations, through projects and related research, in reviews of data and information about district and school functions provided in reports and in answers to questions, and in discussions, demonstrated the ability to appropriately apply new information and data in decisions. Reports and measures of progress were presented by the candidates each month. After a year of work, both candidates completed their residencies and were recommended for receipt of their certifications from the state DOE.
“The residency process was rigorous and I now see the superintendent’s responsibilities from a new perspective. I have a greater appreciation for the difficult decisions superintendents make.”
—Dr. Joseph Acroma, Assistant Superintendent
“I appreciate how you assessed my background and devised a plan that maximized my growth for the position of superintendent. Thank you for your coaching while I served as the Interim Superintendent.”
—Ms. Stephanie Acquino, Assistant Superintendent
*The case study is real and positions of personnel are accurate. Names of districts, schools, and personnel have been changed.