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BEWARE OF THE REVOLVING DOOR. Vicki Smith . New Mexico School Boards Association. “The relationship of boards and superintendents is more like a marriage than a business partnership. And as in marriages, dysfunctional relationships between the (parties) ultimately are bad for the children.” - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Slide 1

BEWARE OF THE REVOLVING DOOR
Vicki Smith

New Mexico School Boards Association
The relationship of boards and superintendents is more like a marriage than a business partnership. And as in marriages, dysfunctional relationships between the (parties) ultimately are bad for the children.Kathleen Vail, ASBJ

New Mexico School Boards Association
Tensions are built into the existing structure of school boards and superintendents.

Michael Usdan, Institute for Educational Leadership

New Mexico School Boards Association
A board in conflict with its superintendent is incapable of doing anything but poisoning the well.

Don Owen, Pennsylvania SBA

New Mexico School Boards Association
Beware of the Revolving Door!Boards should consider the districts long-term needs.Board expectations play a part

New Mexico School Boards Association
How and where will you advertise the vacancy?Within New MexicoNationallyNSBAAASANMSBANMCSA

New Mexico School Boards Association
What type of a selection process shall the Board utilize?BoardCommunity InvolvementCommittee and its membership

New Mexico School Boards Association
First the Board/Committee must define and prioritize the attributes which they are seeking in their next Superintendent

New Mexico School Boards Association
First the Board/Committee must define and prioritize the attributes which they are seeking in their next Superintendent

New Mexico School Boards Association
The first contact any applicant has with the hiring board/committee is on paper. Look for application materials that are neat and professional looking.

If invited for an interview, the applicant should be well prepared having researched the school district.

New Mexico School Boards Association
Develop the questions for the interview based on the identified attributes

New Mexico School Boards Association
Name of Interviewee:___________Name of Interviewer:___________

Describe your experience and involvement with the public schools within the past five years that qualifies you as a superintendent.

To what extent do you think the superintendent can or should function as an instructional leader?

Explain how you might go about developing a school budget in a school system of our size.

As superintendent how would you improve communications with the parents and the community?

New Mexico School Boards Association
Hiring Procedure and Negotiations:BenefitsSalaryMulti-year contract

New Mexico School Boards Association
Transition is the psychological process people go through to come to terms with the new situation.Transition is internal. It is how the shift from the old to the new occurs.Change refers to the situation that is altered: the new team, the new boss, new roles or policies.Change is external. It is what becomes different.

The interval between the decay of the old and the formation and establishment of the new, constitutes a period of transition which must always necessarily be one of uncertainty, confusion, error, and wild and fierce fanaticism.
John C. Calhoun, U. S. Senator
New Mexico School Boards Association

Illness strikes men when they are exposed to change.
Herodotus,Greek Historian
Why Do a Transition?
New Mexico School Boards Association

New Mexico School Boards Association
Reduce the learning curveReduce tension during board meetingsConduct more productive meetings soonerRestore the level of trust among the team/board membersDispel the myths about new team members

New Mexico School Boards Association
Brainstorming: Identifying Task Issues
Think about the team or district tasks a new team member should know and understand.

What are some things new members need to know early about their new job?

New Mexico School Boards Association
Team operating proceduresCalendar of events for district and teamUpcoming critical events for team and districtTeam goalsDistrict plans and goalsRoles and responsibilities for everyoneSources of information or answersDistrict policies

New Mexico School Boards Association
Brainstorming: Identifying Relationship Issues
Think back to when you were a new leadership team member. How about the evening of your first real board meeting?

What are some of the relationship issues that new team members have to face?

New Mexico School Boards Association
Relationship Issues
What are my expectations for working together?How do we communicate?Heres what I stand for.Heres what I want to accomplish.How will I know if Im doing a good job?When are issues serious enough to bring to the team?

Identify Critical Issues (not solutions) for both the district and the leadership teamA Critical Issue is a situation that is serious enough that we must address it within the next 60-180 days or we may not be able to get our job done
New Mexico School Boards Association
Identify Critical Issues

FORMING

Milling AroundConfusionHigh AmbiguityPolite/SuperficialImpersonalWatchful/ Guarded"Why are we here?"
STORMING

Attacking/ConflictFrustrationConfronting People/LeaderOpting OutDifficultiesFeeling StuckResistanceCliques
NORMING

Developing PatternsCohesion BeginningEstablish ProceduresGiving FeedbackConfronting IssuesRelevant Questions
PERFORMING

Tightly Knit GroupResourcefulFlexible/CreativeOpen/TrustingEffectiveClose/SupportiveConfident
New Mexico School Boards Association

New Mexico School Boards Association

Redefine Your Concept of PowerAs a society, we often define power as control and domination.This concept of power turns boardrooms into battlegrounds, even when school leaders truly want to collaborate.

New Mexico School Boards Association
What negative people depend upon to get what they want:AttentionSense of PowerFearResponseGuiltIntimidationElicit sympathyMomentary high

New Mexico School Boards Association
What negative people depend upon to get what they want:AttentionSense of PowerFearResponseGuiltIntimidationElicit sympathyMomentary high

New Mexico School Boards Association
Build TrustWithout trust its a balancing act, dealing with different personalities.Leads to misunderstandings, sore feelings and grudgesProfessionals dont like to admit that we let personal feelings and immature motives color our actions.

New Mexico School Boards Association
Know Where Youre GoingDuring times of reform, tensions between the board and the superintendent can be avoided if theres a clear plan of action.It lessens the chance for hidden agendas and personal prejudices.

New Mexico School Boards Association
The relationship of boards and superintendents is like a trapeze act, both partners must have considerable skill, impeccable timing, nerves of steel, and unwavering trust in each other.Castillo, Greco, and McGowan

New Mexico School Boards Association
Are you providing a three-ring circus for the entire community?When boards and superintendents do not have their act together, they exhibit the following problems:

New Mexico School Boards Association
Bickering and nitpicking over minor issues;Scapegoating and blaming each other for things that go wrong;Stepping on each others toes--forgetting, or not honoring, who is supposed to lead on what;Making poor decisions, due to poor communication and individuals pursuing their own special interests.

New Mexico School Boards Association
Second-guessing each others motives and decisions;Experiencing lots of personal frustration;Suffering from a lack of community support, andBeing unable to meet district goals

New Mexico School Boards Association
Avoid SurprisesAgree on the job description, contract, and evaluation planDevelop a strategic planDevise a 12-month calendarProvide information in a timely mannerHave an agenda-building process that eliminates surprises or secretsHave a good citizen-speak policy

New Mexico School Boards Association
Learn to Deal With ConflictRecognize destructive conflictIdentify the issue causing disagreementListen to all information relating to the conflictBrainstorm possible solutionsFind a mutually acceptable resolution

New Mexico School Boards Association
Regularly Check How Your Team Is Doing

Ask: Whats working well and what needs to be worked on?Candid discussion of how the Board and Superintendent function as partnersAssess your working relationship once every three to four months

New Mexico School Boards Association
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Building and sustaining any relationship is hard work.Taking the time to discuss these suggestions together can be a worthwhile investment for new superintendents and their boards as well as long-time board-superintendent partnerships that are continuously looking for ways to improve.

New Mexico School Boards Association
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT VICKI SMITH 575-536-9453

Youd be surprised to see an episode of Dr. Phil devoted to the care and feeding of a school boards relationship with its superintendent.

We think that professional dealings dont belong in the realm of daytime talk shows. But . . ... (Read slide -- first sentence only)

Like a marriage it weathers power plays and power struggles, misunderstandings and hidden motives. Even the strongest relationships are tested. Sometimes irreconcilable

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