Part 1

Part 2

My (former) school district recently hired a new superintendent, and I was able to sit down and chat with him. I think he is just what the district needs and I am really excited for what he will bring to the table. We talked about the following:

  • Where Dr. Briscoe got his start in education and in administration
  • His diverse experience as a leader of schools that were from incredibly high-achieving to greatly struggling.
  • Engaging in the community by being involved in community issues (building new police station, hospital, etc.)
  • The political struggles that lead Dr. Briscoe to retirement from his school district.
  • Why he felt like Canyons School District was a good match for him.
  • Why it is so important to be out and about and seen.
  • How to build trust. Time.
  • What happened in the past, is in the past. Let’s not worry about it.
  • The culture he wants to create: Trust & Collaboration.
  • Honoring the past.
  • How he measures the success of his superintendency, not to be confused with his job description.
  • Why that measure of success is so important.
  • The strengths of Canyons school district.
  • The importance of the involvement of families.
  • We should try to do what we are doing even better. Teacher and principal input needs to be truly valued.
  • Making sure everyone in the organization feels valued.
  • Honoring the past before you build for the future.
  • Principal qualities Dr. Briscoe is looking for: having a vision compared to implementing a vision. Humility. Accessible and visible. Patience. Admit mistakes. Regardless of the other person’s opinion, you need to respect the person and take their opinion or concern seriously.
  • Focus on the vision and goal of your school, just take the time to meet with people and explain your rationale.
  • Most of the time, if you explain what you’re thinking, the people who disagree are OK with your decision, even if they don’t agree with it.
  • Don’t ask people for their input if you have already made your decision.
  • How to deal with taking the hits: exercise, without your health, you can’t do anything.
  • The importance of being recognizable. Walk up and introduce yourself to people out and about, and ask them if they have school-age kids.
  • A school leader is a leader in the community. You must get out and meet with local clubs and groups.
  • The benefit of being from a small district and being involved in every department in the district.
  • How to be a transformative principal: Take a risk!
  • What is in his office to keep him motivated? A poster that says, “If you don’t climb the mountain, you can’t enjoy the view.”

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