Select strong school leader who can nurture, motivate and inspire

Published 9:39 am Friday, February 17, 2017

To the Editor:

[Editor’s note: The following is comment regarding the selection of a new superintendent for Franklin City Public Schools by Howie Soucek at the public hearing on Wednesday.]

Mr. Chairman and other members of the Board for FCPS:

This is to urge you to include as a criterion in your selection process for our next school system superintendent a proven ability to earn the trust and respect of important public education stakeholders— especially, classroom teachers, parents and the business community; this, by way of opening lines of communication with and thus garnering the ongoing and meaningful involvement of each of these stakeholder groups in improving the education of our youths.

A candidate who lacks actual experience as a school system superintendent but who has verifiably demonstrated a collaborative organizational style and a form of leadership that garners trust and respect will be far superior to a candidate with all the usual, impressive, traditional “credentials” but who lacks the above criterion.

We have been troubled long enough by a series of highly credentialed individuals in this vital position — individuals who come on strong with impressive talk, demeanor and a good show at the start but who later settle into a command-and-control style of management which silences and isolates teachers, and offers only lip-service to meaningful information shared with — as well as involvement from — the community.

It is time to select a strong leader who knows how to nurture and how to motivate — even inspire — our wonderful school staff and our wonderful community.

Thank you for your consideration.

Howie Soucek