NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNALVOLUME 26, NUMBER 3, 2009-2010
A SUPERINTENDENT’S RESPONSIVENESSTO SCHOOL DISTRICT CULTURE
Henry WilliamsCentral Washington University
ABSTRACTThis article examines a Superintendent’s responsiveness to the school culture componentof the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC). An analysis of thedevelopment of school culture by the late John Stanford, Superintendent of SeattlePublic Schools was the focus is the focus of the article. When he took over assuperintendent of Seattle schools, many complained that he had no knowledge of education, he is a military person, and they cannot see how he will be able to work withthe largest school district in Washington State. To the amazement of everyone in Seattle,during his short tenure in the school district, he was able to turn the down troddenSeattle school district into something the students, staff, state legislatures and thecommunity embraced. The late John Stanford, was the cheerleader at rallies, the chef forelementary school students and great communicator with all people. He had a vision forself, staff and community, and to sustain it, he was always available.
nterstate School leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standard 2states us that a school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by advocating, nurturing, andsustaining a school culture and instructional program that is conduciveto student learning and staff professional growth. By addressingculture in a standard, it is obvious that culture is important to thosecharged with defining “good school leaders”. This standard speaks tothe need of a school leader to understand the importance of a positiveschool culture and its impact on student learning.
Culture is based on common norms, values and beliefs. Cultureis the glue that holds schools together or keeps it in tatters. It definesthe group and gives it a sense of identity that sets it apart from other