What Qualities Do APS Employees Need In a New Superintendent? Add Your Voice

Leadership matters. Leaders set a tone, provide vision, instill confidence, ensure stability, value progress, support employees, and manage systems. Educators flock to a school where there is excellent principal leadership, and they stay there. By the same token, we see high teacher and support staff turnover rates at schools where our voices are not honored and where there is no clear vision on how the school should move forward.

The same is true for the leadership of a school district superintendent. Our district’s leadership matters. Although the average tenure of urban superintendents is between 2.3 to 3.6 years and school employees generally outlast whoever is chosen to be the superintendent, a leader who works collaboratively with practitioners and who demonstrates just and visionary leadership can make a positive change in the work we do.

There are amazing outspoken superintendents who have been willing to take a risk and exert ethical and moral leadership in the direction of public education. Joshua Starr, superintendent of public schools in Montgomery County, Maryland, publicly criticized the “apparent national obsession” with standardized testing. Todd Gazda, superintendent of schools in Ludlow, Massachusetts, fought excessive and unnecessary “reform initiatives” that take away from instructional time and quality. Thomas Scarice, the superintendent of Madison Public Schools in Connecticut, shed light on the injustice of tying teacher evaluation to high stakes testing, citing that it led to the destruction of sound pedagogical practices and had the potential to corrupt our classrooms as we felt compelled to teach to the test.

We are worthy of a leader who:

  • speaks truth to power.
  • leads with heart.
  • has undeniable moral fiber.
  • is courageous.
  • dreams with us.
  • is more committed to doing what’s right than doing what is wrong in the right way.

One person can influence the thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors of an entire district. The right superintendent will:

  • set a direction as they help us see possibilities instead of barriers;
  • enable us to visualize what we might achieve;
  • encourage and inspire us

Add your voice to the discussion of what kind of superintendent APS needs. Let’s amplify and speak directly to the APS Board of Education.

Take the ATF Superintendent survey.