The Leadership Challenge

Leaders build relationships. I believe that each person is a leader in one way or another. Some are leaders by nature and talent, some are leaders by situation or role. Leadership is both an art and a science, and there are many books, articles, research reports, and findings about what leadership is and what leadership can do. Two great books on school and district leadership are: School Leadership that works and District Leadership that works. One of the main charges that I have as the superintendent of schools is to support leadership so that leaders emerge in all parts of the organization to Engage, Inspire, and Empower. While I am visible in the schools, and while the classroom is the most important “place” in the school district, I also work very closely with the administrative team in an effort to support their work and their leadership.

This year as a leadership team (district center administrators, and building level administrators) we are working on a book study with The Leadership Challenge. The authors of this classic and highly regarded leadership book Kouzes and Posner detail and describe Five Main frameworks for leadership (Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart).

Our Leadership Challenge is to fulfill our district mission every day in every classroom and in every interaction. One tangible, observable way in which we can guide our leader’s work is found in the  Five Main frameworks.

Model the Way,

Inspire a Shared Vision,

Challenge the Process,

Enable Others to Act, and

Encourage the Heart

The Mission of the Deerfield Public Schools, DPS109:

Provide educational experiences of the highest quality that engage, inspire and empower each student to excel and contribute in a changing world.

 Our Vision:

District 109 students will excel and contribute when they have the knowledge and skills to be: 

 • Lifelong, self-directed learners

• Critical and creative thinkers

• Effective communicators

• Collaborative team members

• Respectful and responsible members of society

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