Leadership Requires Flexibility
As I began to gather my thoughts for this message, I asked myself “Why did I become an educator?” “Why did I pursue the career path to the superintendency?”
My answer is complex for a number of reasons. First, my parents taught me discipline, grit, faith, the value of education and the power of hard work. Second, my teachers and mentors along the way built upon the foundation created by my parents and offered me much more about life and being a person of character. Third, I wanted the opportunity to give back to others, to serve students and to develop the next generation of leaders.
My third answer best sums up my thoughts - to lead our school communities to success! Colleagues, I am confident that this goal is shared among all school leaders especially New Jersey’s 2017 Regional Superintendents of the Year. They are:
From left, Northern Regional winner - Dr. Adam Fried, Chief Education Officer, Harrington Park School District; Central Regional winner - Dr. Ross Kasun, Chief Education Officer, Freehold Township School District; and Southern Regional winner - Dr. H. Major Poteat, Chief Education Officer, Winslow Township School District
From my vantage point of over 25 years as an educator, I can say, "All three regional superintendents are dedicated, hard-working professionals who continually strive to improve the quality of education for all students. They are remarkable chief education officers with vision, imagination, and compassion for the students they serve."
Simply put, leadership is a complex word and concept that comes in many shapes and sizes. In all cases, being a leader is never easy. It requires integrity, grit, passion, focus, and a desire to serve the needs of others. It requires a willingness to listen to others, gather facts and make educated decisions. It requires a willingness to let others lead when they are the best suited for that task. It requires a willingness to make difficult decisions when called to do so, even if those decisions challenge the status quo or are unpopular to some.
All three Regional Superintendents of the Year play a special role, walk the delicate balance of a life of leadership and have the courage to lead with integrity.
The three Regional Superintendents of the Year will be introduced at the NJASA Executive Committee’s October 26th meeting at the Annual Fall Workshop in Atlantic City. Later that day, Workshop will acknowledge the 2017 Regional Superintendents of the Year at its 1pm general session.
Each regional winner was judged on the following qualifications: 1) minimum of five years experience as a chief education officer; 2) record of service within their respective county affiliate and NJASA; and 3) a distinguished record as an educator.
This is the ninth year of our Association’s selection process to choose three regional - Southern, Central and Northern - Superintendents of the Year winners.
The next step in the process for the three regional winners will be the selection of a New Jersey candidate to participate in the AASA National Superintendent of the Year Award. A committee of NJASA Past Presidents will select the 2017 New Jersey Superintendent of the Year. The program, established in 1988 and sponsored by Aramark, VALIC, and AASA, is open to any superintendent, chancellor or top leader of a school system in the United States who plans to continue in the profession.
The selection qualifications for the State and National Superintendent of the Year include: meeting the needs of their students, demonstrated communication strength, a commitment to professional development and growth, and significant community involvement. Additionally, at the state and regional levels, NJASA has an additional qualification that addresses service with the county affiliate and NJASA.
AASA will announce the National Superintendent of the Year at its Annual Conference on Education in March 2017. The recipient of this prestigious honor will receive a $10,000 college scholarship for a student at the high school where the superintendent graduated.
Dr. Scott McCartney, NJASA President 2016-2017