Vermont Superintendent of the Year

I was quite to surprised to find out I had been selected to be the Vermont Superintendent of the Year for 2009. Here are the remarks I made upon receiving this honor.

Thank you very much. I am deeply honored to be this year’s recipient. I enjoy being a Vermont superintendent. I enjoy the complexity and intellectual rigor of the work, and it is important to me to know I am making a positive contribution to the democratic governance practices of our school boards.

It has been my privilege to serve as Secretary of our Association during this past year. We have had very productive discussions at our Trustees’ meetings about the mission, purpose, and organizational structure of the Association as well as our public educational system. These conversations have been very rich, and are reflective of the extensive practical experience and collective wisdom that resides within the Association. I believe we need to open this discourse up, to expand it, so we can include more educational leaders in the state and to ensure our thinking can better inform key stakeholders including policy makers.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank several people. Firstly, I would like to thank my wife Hilary and daughter Lauren who tolerate my evening absences and who have always been supportive of my work. I would like to acknowledge Wayne Murray, a former Vermont Superintendent of the Year, who taught me a few things about being a principal and who mentored me into being a superintendent; his leadership gave me the space to innovate and to do good things for kids.

I would also like to thank Drs. Judy Aiken, Ray Proulx, Bruce Richardson and members of the University of Vermont Northeast Kingdom Doctoral Cohort in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. I have benefited greatly from your thinking. I appreciate you allowing me to continue my membership in this group even though I have since moved from the Northeast Kingdom to the Banana Belt of Vermont. Lastly, I would like to thank the staff of the Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union. We have a dynamic central office, and it is a pleasure to work with all of you. In many ways we are still an organizational work in progress. Coming to work every day is fun, and I feel truly privileged to serve as your Superintendent.

Thank you.

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  • Lois Little

    Congratulations, Dan! Hope all is well with you and yours. Take care.

  • Dan,
    I just read your article on transforming education in our state. I like it. I could not agree with you more re:politics. What I find even more interesting is the the re-cycling of administrators in our system. i include Superintendents and Principals. I have 40 years in this profession and am still very active and successful. My evals. are public record. i teach in both graduate( Norwich University, SNHU) and undergraduate (Castleton State College) scenarios.

    Your perspective on the quality of pedagogy is acceptable. Most individuals I encounter in M. Ed programs are sincere in their desire to become Professionals. What does bog down their process is the systemic paperwork. if as you suggest, Vermont runs a business approach to its Ed. Policy, then how does one go about justifying the disproportionate expenditure on “priveleged programs” like Spec. Ed. where there is no real ROI not to mention the number of Assistant Paper Pushers who do not engage in any pedagogy. The manufacturing/stamp out a product model with upper levels of management watching over the process seems to have a stranglehold
    on the system. I have held leadership positions in severe education business models viz. proprietary and technical schools, where the bottom line determined my employment. I have led several to accreditation where it was deemed iffy at best. I am no Redeemer Dan, but I know “pork.” You make a good case. i like your intrepidness.
    Until, the cliquish admin. clubs disband and the elephantine system is recognized, i sense you will be regarded as a voice in the wilderness… and eventually a Pariah. I hope your union rep. is an ally!
    All the best,
    Robert Wuagneux