Executive Director’s Update: October 2014

Posted on September 29, 2014


Dr. J. T. Coopman, Executive Director


It appears that the school year begins earlier each year. With the advent of the “balanced calendar” we had school districts begin the 2014-15 school year at the end of July. Essentially, we are in school year round now. Our time to plan and hire staff and make changes to curriculum is now so compressed, it is now like building the plane as it is flying. With that said, the resilience of school leaders and their ability to get things done is astounding and at times almost magical. Congratulations are in order for all of our Indiana School Superintendents for their “can do” attitudes in providing quality services for their students, staff, and communities.

This year we have 37 new Indiana school superintendents. Some are new in their roles, some are from other Indiana school districts and some are from outside of Indiana. Regardless, accepting a new position as a school superintendent is worrisome and filled with anxiety. As a group, we are so conscientious and always over planning so we cover all the bases in order to provide the very best leadership possible for our school boards, staff, students and communities. With the “can do” attitude and conscientious personality, a price is paid that is often overlooked. The sacrifices made personally and by our families, to some degree, come with the job, but should not be taken to the extreme. Make sure time is taken for oneself and for quality time with your family or it will suck you dry and nothing is left for anyone. This and many other lessons learned by more experienced superintendents will be shared with new superintendents at the newly formulated Indiana University/IAPSS New Superintendent Academy beginning on October 9th on the IU/Bloomington campus. Our thanks to Indiana University for approaching IAPSS with the connections to develop this program for new Indiana school leaders.

As an organization, our association is so small that we must create a network of support for each other because no one else knows what we do or what we are going through. However, when called upon, we are always willing to share and assist our colleagues. That is one of the attributes that make our profession and IAPSS such a special profession and organization. As a member, you are never alone and help is a phone call or email away.

I am so proud to serve in such an organization that hopefully is beneficial to all IAPSS members. We are a respected profession and organization, but with much respect comes great responsibility. We can only be as good as you want us to be and demand of us. Please work with your district chairs and share your ideas for how we (IAPSS) can serve you and meet your needs. Reach out to neighboring colleagues and invite them to IAPSS events and meetings so they don’t feel alone. Develop that comradery that is essential for our success as Indiana school superintendents. Please know we appreciate your leadership and your support of IAPSS. Keep leaning forward, stay strong, and in the words of a legend in Indiana school leadership, Dr. Robert Dalton, “don’t let the suckers get you down.”