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Superintendent Tim Doak knows that community partnerships are crucial to a successful school district. But in rural Maine, where school districts are often the largest employers in the area, how do you find comparable businesses to partner with? Doak, who was named Maine’s Superintendent of the Year in 2018, is attempting to answer that question, n…
 
When Dr. Kelli Joseph began her superintendency at St. Helena Parish School District, she had her work cut out for her. The Louisiana district was facing a multitude of challenges, from a $1.5 million budget deficit to a desegregation order to a fight for local control. The problems looked almost insurmountable—but Joseph and her team were determin…
 
The issue of equity is baked into the history of Oak Park, Illinois. In the 1960s, neighborhoods around Oak Park faced "white flight" and resegregation when they attempted to integrate. But in 1968, the city passed a fair housing ordinance, outlawing discrimination in the housing market. The result, 50 years later, is an extremely diverse community…
 
Since the first one-room schoolhouses popped up across the country, schools have been the center of rural America. School facilities are for more than just learning—they’re gathering places where people come together for fundraisers, athletic events, public forums, and more. And while rural schools are often left behind when it comes to education p…
 
We don’t have to tell you that education is facing a crisis: America just doesn’t have enough teachers. According to an Education Week analysis, all 50 states experienced statewide teacher shortages in at least one subject area in 2018, and 61% of superintendents indicated that they were having trouble finding great educators. It’s a difficult prob…
 
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 73% of people—nearly three out of every four—have anxiety about public speaking. Some studies even suggest that people are more afraid of speaking in front of a crowd than they are of dying. That fear doesn’t just make us uncomfortable; it limits us. Fear of public speaking cuts wages by 10% and…
 
Just along the shores of Michigan’s Lake Huron sits Au Gres-Sims School District. For some leaders, the district’s size—just two schools—might not seem to hold much opportunity. But Jeffrey Collier, who served as the district’s superintendent from 2012 to 2020, knew the district could be what he calls “the gold standard of education." By institutin…
 
When the COVID-19 pandemic first rocked the country in March, nearly every superintendent was thrown into the hardest decisions of their careers. How can you keep students safe while maintaining high standards of learning? And how can you get the community on board? Hollis Milton has spent the last nine months considering these questions. As superi…
 
Thinking back on your own experience in school, when was the first time you had a Black male teacher? If you’re like most Americans, you never did. We know that students perform better when they have teachers who look like them. According to a 2017 study from the Institute of Labor Economics, when low-income Black students have at least one Black t…
 
Every year, around one in five kids in the U.S. experience mental, emotional or behavioral problems, from anxiety to depression to ADHD. But according to data from the CDC, only about 20% of those kids are getting the help they need. And those stats? They’re from before the COVID-19 pandemic began. In May, a Gallup poll asked parents how social dis…
 
College has become a culturally expected step in a student’s academic journey. In the US, an average of 66% of high school graduates go straight to college. But what about the other 34%? Not everyone can afford to go to college. Not everyone wants to. In fact, 33% of all young adults—about 10 million people 18 to 24—aren’t going to school. They’re …
 
About ten miles south of Seattle sits a school district with a bold promise: to know each and every one of its students by name, strength, and need. This promise may seem hard to keep in an urban school system where the student body speaks over 100 languages, but Dr. Susan Enfield is making it happen. When she took the helm at Highline Public Schoo…
 
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