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.