Page 14

MASA Leader - Fall 2016

MASA Feature Superintendents Share Their Thoughts on Leadership By Mitch Smith Leaders have the ability to bring out the best in people, which can be both difficult and rewarding work. This work requires ambition, a service-focused attitude, and an ultimate goal of inspiring their district to be great. MASA asked superintendents to share their thoughts on what leadership means to them. Here’s what six Michigan superin-tendents had to say about the role of leadership in their practice: David Tebo Hamilton Community Schools “Leadership in education is tougher and more exciting that it has ever been. I believe leaders have to have courage, as we transform education from what it was to what it can be. We are faced with the challenge to educate and inspire every one of our learners so they can meet their individual potential. That means mixing what worked, what works and what might work as we adapt to each new group of students. As leaders we have the opportunity to paint a picture of what’s possible if we have the courage to learn and innovate alongside our staff and students.” Teresa Belote Bronson Community Schools “One of my favorite sayings is a leadership quote attributed to Sheryl Sandberg: ‘Leadership is about making others better as a result of your pres-ence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.’ To me, vision, cred-ibility, 14 MASA LEADER • Fall 2016 courage, compassion, humility, and frequent failures are important ingredients for a successful leadership recipe.” Dr. Steve Mathews Novi Community Schools “Leadership is about making relation-ships with people, about listening to what their concerns are and then try to provide the support that they need to be successful. I’m only successful if the people who work for our district are successful.” Michele Lemire Escanaba Area Public Schools “Using district teams consisting of board members, staff, and parents, we must intentionally create the conditions for student success, focus our collective efforts, and agree to relentlessly work toward meaty annual benchmarks that are rigorous enough in order to move the bar closer to our goals. At the same time, we need to recognize the vulner-ability of our staff and support them as they take risks in attempting new strategies designed to increase student success.” Dr. Amy Kruppe Hazel Park Superintendent “There is no job too small or large when it means that you are shaping and saving lives of children every day. How fortunate I am to every day serve students and families in Michigan that are accessing our public schools. I can’t think of a more rewarding job than when a child or a parent thanks you at the end of the day.” Shawn Hale Bullock Creek School District “The job of a superintendent is very challenging. With these challenges, many great opportunities are born allowing us to inspire and empower students, staff and community. I am learning that leading a district is really about collaboration. I believe that people choose to work in education because they really do want what is best for kids. Taking the opportunity to collaborate and help others become the best version of themselves stands to impact students in a positive way. I’m learning what it takes to do this job well and know that I have much work to do. My key to surviving my first year was to develop a network of fellow district leaders that were willing to mentor and guide me through some very tough challenges. I am grateful to those leaders and know that I could not have survived my first year had they not taken time to guide me.” There are many responsibilities as a leader, which include innovating, motivating, collaborating, and inspiring those around them. Consider this shared wisdom as an offering of collective insight as you shape and lead your district. Mitch Smith is a Communications Specialist with MASA. Contact him at 517.327.9244 or mitchsmith@gomasa.org.


MASA Leader - Fall 2016
To see the actual publication please follow the link above