March 2014 District Superintendents of the Year Responses to Questions About Their District and Leadership

Posted on July 16, 2014

District IV  Dan Sichting, Superintendent Bloomfield School District


District VI  Phil Stevenson, Superintendent Centerville-Abington Community Schools

(1) What program(s) or activities in your school district that focus on improving student learning do you feel are the most successful?  We have gone through AdvancED/NCA district accreditation which has brought all grades, K-12, under one unbrella.  All grade levels are now working together toward improving student learning.  The articulation between grade levels and within grade levels is  product of district accrediation and our test scores have increased because of the process.  The process allows teachers and principals to work together in an open format so that both groups are working to improve instruction for the corporaton.

(2) What have been your most significant challenges as a supt. and how have you dealt with them?  Our enrollment has been in a period of flux since 2005.  We may be up 50 students one year and down 50 the next.  With the General Assembly passing laws concerning property tax caps and also changing the way schools have been funded, it has been a challenge to create budgets and to follow them.  We never know what is coming down the road.

(3) If you could improve one aspect of K-12 Education today, what would it be and what changes would you make? I would like to see less federal and state control and more local control to return to education.  Local school boards need to be in charge of the quality of education, not the federal and state governments.

(4) What advice would you give to aspiring or beginning superintendents?  Have your administrators, teachers and parents follow the chain of command.  Keep your school board informed.  Be honest and open.  Make sure that recieve input from stakeholderrs before you make decisions