Qualities to Lead Worcester Public Schools

I want to start by thanking Dr. Melinda Boone for her service over the last six years as Superintendent of the Worcester Public Schools, and I wish her nothing but the best on her new endeavor in Norfolk, Virginia.

Worcester is a large city with very diverse demographic, leading the schools in this city is not for the faint of heart.  I am sure it can sometimes be a thankless position trying to please thousands of people and do what you believe to be right and in the best interest of the children and the community. The next superintendent needs to be able to fight for what is right and stand by their convictions, and lead the Worcester Public Schools into the future.  With that said, when elected to the Worcester School Committee I will be looking for the following of the next superintendent.

The credentials to do the job – We need someone with an educational background.  Preferably they were a teacher and administrator at some point. While high levels of education may be important to the role they should not be the most important.  A PhD is nice to ha
ve, but it should not be required to lead the Worcester Schools

An Efficient Communicator.  The candidate must make the time and effort to not only communicate needs and accomplishments, but to be the voice in the face of scrutiny.  The candidate must also listen to the multiple viewpoints from Committee members, principals, teachers and parents before making a final decision.

An Instructional Leader.  They know that the ultimate goal is to have all students achieving at a high level and know the best practices to achieve those goals.  Also someone that is supportive of the teachers to help them reach those goals.

Fervor for the Job – The candidate must really love to do the job, set the tone.  They must understand that not responding to certain issues creates the illusion that it is not a priority.  They must be able to handle the tough decisions in the betterment of the schools by working with all available resources such as parent groups, teachers, the community, administrators and the School Committee members

A Good Manager – The Superintendent works with the School Committee to set the policy and let the Principals and Teachers carry out the policy.  Allow everyone to feel they have a stake in the success in the public schools.  It will put it on a path to success.

Accountability – No Excuses.  If the candidate can bask in the perks of the accomplishments, they need to hold themselves to the same standards when things don’t go their way

An Efficient Communicator….wait, I already said that.

Someone Local.  Who better to carry out the vision of the Worcester Public Schools than someone who has, or had, their boots on the ground and already has a stake in the vision

Those are the qualities that I will be looking for in the next superintendent in Worcester.  When the candidate is hired, I will propose an initial three year contract and a clause that prohibits renewal prior to twelve months of expiration.  If teachers can only be hired or retained one year at a time, then there should be a cap on how long administrators can as well.

This will not be an easy task by any stretch of the imagination and I anticipate a multitude of qualified candidates.  We have an opportunity here to do some wonderful things for the Worcester Public Schools and it starts with hiring our next leader to bring us through this transition.  When elected I look forward to being part of that process.

On November 3rd I am asking for your vote for Worcester School Committee. If you would like to contact me or help, just e-mail nick@nickdandrea.com