You are on page 1of 16

Letter of application

Dear members of the Board of Education: After careful consideration, Schools. I am submitting my application for the position of Superintendent of

Since leaving my last position in January, I have been involved in teaching, writing, and various business engagements, all in the educational another superintendent's post. arena. I have been extremely circumspect about applying for I have submitted since leaving my last position, and this is the first application

Respectfully, I am applying because I believe that there may be a match between your community's goals and the purposes for which I do this work. I look forward to an opportunity to meet. to explore a

relationship with you and hope that we will have an opportunity

Sincerely, John J. Ramos, Sr., Ed.D.

DuvalCountYPliblic. Schools
~fication Information Form

Jacksonville. , Florida
. ...

.Position:

Superintendent

Title:

x(]
Dr. Name: Home Address:

0 Me

OMs.

o Mrs.

o (other--please

list) __

John J. Ramos, Sr. 140 Pond View 0

Telephone Office: (203)228-6071

Watertown

Horne: Cell: E-mail:

CT
Zip Code: 06795

(203~22'8-6071) Jrrazz.ramos84@gmail.com

Record of Professional Education (in reverse chronology)


Institution Teachers College, Columbia University Universfty of Rhode Island Brown University Graduation Date Major Educational Leadership Public Administration English and American Literature Ed.D. MPA SA Degree

10/95 5/87
5174

Record of Professional Experience (in reverse chronology) Title


Superintendent Schools of Dates District to to 1/12 Bridgeport State Enrollment 20,000 NA

6/5
10/04

CT

Deputy Commissioner of Education

6105

OT
Watertown
Norwalk

OT CT CT

Superintendent of
Schools Assistant Superintendent of Schools Principal
- ...
-

4/02
8/00

to to

10/04

3,600 11,000

4/02

7/89

to

8/00

Norwalk

CT

1500
1'1..;... .-"'_ j
~"'''I'''i.

If Ih, ')~

')01'J

Question 1 Throughout development my career in leadership I have demonstrated and improvement. a desire to know what is important in the process of to those

that I have been privileged to lead and to engage stakeholder participation During my comprehensive England Association of Schools and Colleges cited my "open-minded, this approach that has marked my leadership approach over time. During the first weeks in my first superintendent's groups, and community report post, I interviewed

high school principal experience, the New visionary leadership in decision making." It is

and ...willingness to be open to change and to encourage wider participation

every teacher, non-certified

members to enlist their concerns and insights. In short order, I produced a leaders to

detailing what I had been told which then provided the key input for a broad based strategic conversations, a city-wide education summit, and an inclusive by the Both plans provided multiple

planning process. In my last district, larger and more complex, I worked with community accomplish a series of community

strategic planning process. In both cases, the resultant strategic plan was adopted unanimously board of education and became the blueprint for the district's work. opportunities for continuous shared decision making.

In my leadership positions, I have recognized or created faculty advisory committees, teacher and student roundtables, promoted and developed parent/guardian involvement.

facilitated

both

leadership, and

encouraged business and community

A recent example is the evolution of the school

uniform policy in the Bridgeport, (T public schools.

Two concerned parents approached me about their concern regarding student decorum. was in establishing school uniforms to promote security and a sense of community,

Their interest

reduce clothing

costs, and encourage career readiness. The parents followed a series of steps that I outlined for them in order to pursue their ideas. After seeking and securing the support of the district parent advisory committee, a" parents/guardians were surveyed. Armed with compelling data, parent leaders met with

the board of education.

The board and parent leaders worked together with staff support to develop a Two years later, a" students

policy and procedures, secure business support, and roll out the initiative. in grades pre-k through 12 wear school uniforms.

I offer this example not because I believe school uniforms are a magic bullet, although this strategy certainly can work and help to change the system's culture. the power of stakeholder developed collaborativelv, engagement. Rather, this example speaks to my belief in

Because parents wanted this policy and because it was

it came into fruition and will have a better chance of being sustained.

Question 2 As superintendent, administrators, one of my chief responsibilities is to develop leadership. Principals and other

teachers, and staff should all be encouraged to embrace their vital roles with a sense of I will use my last district as an example. The approach to was twofold as we pursued both a social-emotional and learning and teaching

confidence and personal accountability. leadership empowerment track.

Given what I knew about the district before beginning my responsibilities,

I asked all administrators During our

to

read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (note: this would be the first of several readings that staff would be asked to read and receive training in, usually from me, during my tenure). initial meetings, administrators expected to interact with each other going forward. district's first all-inclusive convocation everyone) where the empowering These activities were immediately non-certified created a social contract which described the manner in which they followed by the (teachers, administrators, personnel, bus driversFurther, as the schools and

theme to "Expect Great Things" was advanced. were provided opportunities

months unfolded, teachers and administrators classrooms as well as healthy lifestyles.

to obtain Capturing Kids' throughout

Hearts and Above the Line training to encourage social contract development

Meanwhile, administrators,

teachers, and staff were encouraged to participate

in the strategic planning

process which I referred to in question 1. Also, administrators

and teachers received training in the

process of change, leadership, team building, use of data, culturally responsive teaching and other pertinent topics. Principals, subject area supervisors, and teacher leaders were empowered Teachers and administrators training. Teachers and administrators, including union representatives, team and other ad hoc activities. priorities to share relevant techniques and strategies with school based staff. various job-imbedded participated received

on the district data team, the professional development

Of course, school specific decisions focusing on immediate classroom needs and instructional were made at the school data team level.

Also, I endeavored to keep staff informed and encouraged through the use of audio and video technology as well as traditional memos.

Question 3 I left my position as the CT deputy commissioner of education to assume responsibility for the school

district in the state's largest city. Upon learning of my appointment colleagues around the state offered their condolences. sense of discouragement commitment Things!" sense of, "It's Bridgeport, what do you expect?"

to the position in Bridgeport, some I found the same

Once I arrived in Bridgeport, members.

among many of the local community

In fact, there was a prevailing

However, after visiting classrooms and observing the

of the majority of students and staff, I concluded that our mantra should be, "Expect Great

After quickly conducting a series of assessments (organizational, community conversations,

instructional,

and fiscal), a series of group of With the assistance

and a city-wide educational summit, I convened a representative

stakeholders at G.E. World Headquarters for a two day strategic planning meeting. of outside facilitators,

those gathered set aside their official "hats" and met as peers to consider what My only non-negotiable was that our efforts were to

would be best for children and young adults.

focus on maximizing the propensity of every child. We drew upon the data from the assessments, community meetings, and traditional and costs/benefits. sources to determine a mission statement, goals, and objectives. by the board of

Then, action planning committees responsibilities,

were assigned to each objective to delineate timelines, The entire product was adopted unanimously

education and became the district's blueprint.

I retained outside expertise to evaluate the plan's progress and created internal controls to keep staff focused on the realization of the plan's objectives. process as well as the community appropriate adjustments With the help of this monitoring and evaluation led Action Planning Advisory Committee, we were able to make

and changes, as necessary.

I can point to the various successes that grew out of this visioning and implementation I will point to one of my favorite anecdotes. the mission statement:

process. Instead,

One of my directives was that all students should be taught community would is to

"The mission of the Bridgeport Public Schools and its supporting

graduate all students "college ready" and prepared to succeed in life." School communities incorporate the statement

in their morning exercises. A principal related to me that one late October For me, this story represents progress and an

morning, a student approached him and said, " Mr. Sanchez, I like saying the mission statement every morning, but what is this college ready stuff, anyway?" important cultural shift.

For a student who has no sense college or career to begin to wonder, ask

questions, and to think all things possible is what this work is all about.

Question 4 In Bridgeport, an early challenge was to develop a table of organization. consideration enterprise. This approach included a clear reciprocal relationship My most important

was to develop a structure that would keep learning and teaching at the core of the between academics and operations goal of educational excellence for all involved.

sides with the clearly articulated

I have touched on various academic pursuits in some of the previous questions. had responsibilities identify efficiencies. of improvement We also involved parents in school inspection committees

Operations staff, too, to identify areas in need

tied to the strategic plan. In addition, operations engaged in a "work out" process to

and to ensure follow up. Staff was engaged in a safe, clean and healthy schools

campaign and incentives were provided to schools and students to recycle.

The external community

was embraced through several initiatives.

The Bridgeport Higher Education organization leaders and

Alliance brought local college presidents and staff together with community school staff to promote college readiness, enrollment,

and success. This group served in an advisory

capacity to Yale University's federal Gear- Up program, for example. The Bridgeport Public Education Fund acknowledged teacher excellence, provided teacher incentive grants, and hosted valuable tutorial programs. The school district collaborated with the local community action agency to develop and providers

implement the Total Learning program for prek-3 students. and our staff built a substantial blueprint of cooperation pre-school, we initiated or supported

Regarding pre-school, community

that served as a model for the state. Beyond We built relationships with

relationships with educational service providers and charter Business also

school providers to give students additional educational opportunities. supported our significant mentoring and "read aloud" programs.

corporate sponsors to conduct perfect attendance and back to school campaigns.

Also, we conducted "No Excuses" members to knock on Cooperation pursued on

campaigns where elected and appointed officials joined with staff and community

doors and invite recent drop outs to come back to school and finish what they started. with elected officials and offices on the city, state, and federal levels was continuously behalf of children and young adults.

Question 5 Of all the awards I have been honored to receive, I am most proud of the Ethics in Action Award and the

living Waters Award. Humbly stated, both of these honors reinforce what I have tried to represent
during my career in educational leadership.

I subscribe to the notion that our work has a moral purpose. good citizens. Moreover,

Public education was designed to develop to empower all students with the No excuses.

in today's economy, we have a responsibility

tools necessary to compete in both the local and global marketplace.

Further, I subscribe to the concept of servant leadership. means holding people accountable,

As the educational

leader in a community,

my

job is to enable the success of our stakeholders so that students can be successful. Of course, this but it also means acknowledging strengths and successes, capacity individuals to demonstrate their

building, removing unnecessary obstacles, and otherwise empowering best. It is the responsibility

of each level of leadership to develop those it supervises. The service

delivery model I developed in Bridgeport was based on the concept of servant leadership.

My push to develop a sense of team and to develop social contracts was geared to engender trust. The ability to use the social contract as a reference point when negotiating a staff conflict or when making a critical decision was important to both individual and district integrity.

Important to this area of ethics and leadership is the use of language. For example, I encouraged staff to refer to students as scholars rather than students. language shift gave students a different Although it seemed a stretch a times, this subtle

sense of how they were valued. Also, I asked that staff

gracefully insist on being called by their names and not simply Mr. or Miss. This shift teaches students responsible behavior and prepares them for the adult world they will soon enter. language is important. I believe that

I have worked persistently to maintain open, responsible communications that I have served. Over time, I have learned that it is important share what you are doing, and share what you have done. important

with the boards of education

to share what you are planning to do, I have learned that it is are clear. During

Just as important,

to mutually establish the ground rules with the board so that expectations

my career, I have always enjoyed the support of the great majority of the board regardless of party affiliation.

Do you have a Superintendent Endorsement for the state represented the position llsted on this Application information Form?

by

Yes

(If you have questions regarding the requirements to be a superintendent in the State of Florida, contact the Florida Department of Education) t the information provided herein is true and complete to the best of my knowledge.

I am aware that the Florida Sunshine Act win require that aUapplicant information is public and can be released to the media upon request.
Applicant hereby waives his/her right to confidentiality with regard to hislher work record or criminal record and consents to and authorizes the release of information from current or former employers and/or law enforcement personnel upon inquiry under this application.

Signature of Appuca Printed name of Appl This application must be COMPLETED and RETURNED by: Date:

Duval County Public Schools McPherson & Jacobson, Ll.C. Executive Recruitment and Development 7905 L St., Suite 310
Omaha, Nebraska 681 Phone: (402) 991-7031/(888) 375-4814

EwmaU: !!W~!lrn!!:!L!,~~~tt~;2m.
Fax: (402) 991

AAlEEO Employer

Resume
of

John J. Ramos, Sr., Ed.D.


140 Pond View Drive Watertown, Connecticut 06795 H - (860) 945-9825 C - (203) 228-6071 PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Independent Educator/Consultant
Current Engagements Include: Teachers College, Columbia University International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE) Futures Education Silverback Learning Systems Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates 01112 - present

Superintendent of Schools
Bridgeport Board of Education, Bridgeport, CT

06105 -12/11

Left Deputy Commissioner's role to become superintendent of school district in Connecticut's largest city. District served over 20,000 students and included over 1,600 teachers and administrators; 90% children of color, 95% free and reduced lunch, $215 million operating budget. Led district and supporting community through the completion of comprehensive, proactive Strategic Plan which was the product of various baseline assessments (organizational, instructional, fiscal), community conversations and a City-Wide Summit on Education, various district and community based reports, and the Superintendent's Theory of Action. The Strategic Plan served as the blueprint for our work. Led district through a resurgence which included high expectations ("Expect Great Things!"), a focus regarding social-emotional health (including social contracts and a service delivery model), and rigor for ALL students. The BROAD Foundation recognized our district as a Broad Prize Finalist in both 2006 and 2007. Various schools have been cited for National School Change, U.S. Blue Ribbon, and community and foundation distinctions. Bridgeport reached a milestone in 2010. For the first time in a decade, the district demonstrated near uniform improvement in grades 3-8 on the Connecticut Mastery Tests in reading and mathematics. For example, 50 percent of the 6th graders met state standards in mathematics, moving from 40 percent in 2009. In English, 49 percent of 6th graders met state standards, moving from 36 percent in 2009.

Superintendent's three year contract extended through 2013; separation by mutual consent, effective 1112

Deputy Commissioner for Education Programs and Services


Connecticut State Department of Education, Hartford, CT

10104 - 06105

Responsibilities included oversight and coordination of the Division of Teaching, Learning, and Assessment and the Division of Teaching and Learning Programs and Services, supervision and evaluation of Associate Commissioners, maintaining ongoing interactions with district superintendents, and representing the Commissioner, as needed. Specific areas of focus included: work on the concept and initiation of new approach to the Five-Year Comprehensive Plan which included the engagement of the Stupski Foundation's Organizational Assessment and strategic planning processes; technical assistance to school districts in building capacity to address schools in need of improvement, close achievement gaps, and raise achievement for ALL students; high school reform; and ethics and character initiative.

Superintendent of Schools
Watertown Board of Education, Watertown, CT 04102 - 10104

Led and coordinated our district's efforts to engage a culture of change in order to increase the achievement of all students. Helped to restore equilibrium and focus to Board of Education and community. The work of our learning community led to the establishment of an aggressive, Board of Education approved, five-year strategic plan and new Board of Education goals. The Connecticut Center for School Change awarded our district a highly competitive four-year systemic instructional improvement grant which directly supported the implementation of the strategic plan. Also, pursued a "Watertown Values Education" initiative. Superintendent's contract was renewed and extended to 4/08 by unanimous vote. This work included:

interviewing each teacher, various staff, and community leaders, (as part of the entry plan); leadership team and staff capacity building; the development of school improvement plans; the establishment of the Watertown Public School Education Foundation and the Watertown High School Alumni Association; monthly cable television program featuring the schools ("Principally Speaking") presentation and discussion in various community forums including private homes presenting the budget by school to develop more community understanding working to successfully pass various referenda (renovate-as-new school project, track and field upgrade, operating budget).

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Norwalk Board of Education, Norwalk, CT

08100 - 04102

Responsibilities included: coordination of district Instructional Plan, K-12 Curriculum, Staff Development, Assessment, Grants, Libraries, Technology, Bilingual/ESOL education, Adult Education, Summer Programs, Pre-K initiatives, and extended day programs; supervision and evaluation of subject area Supervisors, Instructional Specialists, Elementary School Principals, Director of Secondary Education, and Pupil Personnel Services (including Special Education, Social Work/Psychology, Health Services, Guidance, School-to-Career, and Student Records/transcripts). Worked to re-establish the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Developed and implemented curriculum revision action plan including the identification and use of the Understanding by Design process. Professional Development Reading Plan, new Technology Plan, and revised Teacher and Administrator Evaluation plans developed during my tenure. Conducted first system wide professional development experience since 1990. Central Office Assignment Norwalk Board of Education, Norwalk, CT

02199 - 10/99

Conducted research and created a comprehensive report which outlines a process that the district can apply to address the achievement gap between minority and non-minority students and raise the achievement level of all students. Served on the Superintendent's cabinet. Beyond project, continued working with district, school, and community groups to advance an action agenda. Report results published in April 2002 issue of "Principal Leadership" (NASSP publication). International Consultant Academy for Educational Development, Washington, D.C.

Summer, 1999

Participated in the KwaZulu-Natal Needs Survey, a United States Agency for International Development project in South Africa. The study probed the areas of transformation and overall management, finance, logistics, and human resources. Deliverables included an assessment instrument, the planning and facilitation of a series of workshops, and a final report with specific recommendations. The methodology included a survey, interviews, and a KIVA (a human technology). The process engaged stakeholders and empowered them with tools to pursue the recommendations. Principal, Norwalk High School Norwalk Board of Education, Norwalk, CT

07189 - 08100

Selected from national pool of 90 applicants as chief administrator for a diverse, urban, comprehensive high school. Led school community through a highly successful New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) accreditation process during which an evolving leamer-centered school philosophy was institutionalized. Final NEASC report cited the principal's open-minded, visionary leadership and

the willingness of the high school administration participation in decision making.

to be open to change and to encourage wider

Coordinated overall school direction and facilitated an environment for redesign, mutual respect, high expectations, equity, and student achievement including the development of: The Essential Enrichment Method (Grade 9 T.E.E.M.) Weekly Reading Period Active staff, student, parent, and community input including the School Council, Professional Development Committee, Student Government, Faculty Council, the Parents for Norwalk High School, and the Alumni Association Generation Excellence - an initiative aimed at closing the achievement gap Increased building technology Numerous professional development activities with a focus on teaching strategies, comprehensive assessment, block-scheduling, theme units, and multicultural initiatives The first School-Based Health Center in the City of Norwalk Developmental Guidance and a Career Center The School-to-Work Transition Program Increased building security

Built upon and supported various school traditions such as the award winning Jr. ROTC, Marching Band, and yearbook. Supervised and evaluated programs, curriculum, activities, and staff. Interacted with unions. Served as a primary proponent for system wide change. Undertook a number of central office projects such as coordination of administrative meetings with K-8 schools and organization of the administrative apprenticeship program. PrincipallDirector, Alternate Learning Project High School Providence School Department, Providence, RI 09/83 - 07/89

The Alternate Learning Project (A.L.P.) was a nationally validated, inner city, public, laboratory high school with a diverse student body. Responsibilities included: fiscal and staff management, providing comprehensive services to students, program and curriculum design, community development, corporate and government relations, fundraising, networking, national consulting. Successfully developed Adopt-a-School relationship with Fleet Bank. Negotiated gift of building for permanent housing of the A.L.P. Program. Director of Minority Student Affairs University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 08/82 - 09/83

Developed and supervised student affairs programs and services focusing on recruitment, orientation, retention, and pluralism. Served as Staff Assistant (internship) for Minority

Student Affairs from April - August 1982. Program DeveloperlDirector Rhode Island Department of Education, Providence, RI 03/80 - 08/82

Worked with superintendents, central office staff, and building administration/faculty in local school districts providing technical support and consultation, advocacy, and leadership; identified needs, resources, and solutions. Served as: Rhode Island Social Studies Supervisor. Grant Director principal planner, budgeter, applicator and valuator for the United States Department of Education Emergency School Aid Act (ESAA) State Grant. Initiated a volunteer career education program. Grant also funded a building utilization study for the Providence School Department.

EDUCATION Post-Doctoral Fellowship Teachers College, Columbia University in conjunction with the National Urban Alliance New York, NY Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) Teachers College, Columbia University New York, NY Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI B.A. English and American Literature Brown University, Providence, RI Doctoral Dissertation Title: Managing and Creating Accreditation and Advocacy Design at the Public Comprehensive High School Level. The purpose of the study was to analyze aspects of an action research project involving the redesign of the high school as a school community. The work engaged the standard accreditation process and the theoretical underpinning of functional community, interpretive planning, culture, and shared decision-making. DISTINCTIONS Diversity Award for Lifetime Achievement, University of Rhode Island Julia Macy Community Youth Award, Congregation Ahavath Achim Ethics in Action Award, Connecticut School of Ethical Education Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. International Award, State of Israel

04112
06110

05110 01109

Outstanding Academic Leadership Award, Connecticut Association of Urban Superintendents Living Waters Award, Connecticut Conference United Church of Christ Adjunct Professor, University of Connecticut Benjamin L. Hooks Community Leadership Award, Connecticut State NAACP Bridge Builder Recognition, Bridgeport Parent Advisory Council Strong Kid Builder Award, Central Connecticut Coast YMCA

01109

05108 01108 10107 06107 04/07

Cape Verdean Women's Social Club: Honored for distinguished leadership in the greater Bridgeport community and the State of Connecticut Superintendent Mentor: UCONN Executive Leadership Program Gala Cape Verdean Reunion Award: Honored for leadership in education Staff Member: Fordham University Graduate School of Education's National Principal Leadership Institute Congressional Recognition: Congressional Black Caucus Education Braintrust and Education Technology Think Tank (ET's) Decision Makers Award - Outstanding School District Leadership Adjunct Professor, Berne University Cape Verdean Women's Social Club: Honored for leadership in the Cape Verde an community NEON Award: Educator of the Year Carver Foundation: Youth Development Program "Man of the Year" Norwalk Community Leadership Institute, Graduate A program of the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce Development Mission Visited the Cape Verdean Islands as part of a twenty-two member Sister City Delegation. White House Fellowship: Regional Finalist

10106

2003-04, 2005-06 10103

07103

09102 10/99 10/98

04192 06/91
12/89

05/89

1988-89

Leadership Rhode Island, Graduate, Alpha Class A program of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. This program provides interaction with community leadership and insight to both the historical and current thinking in such areas as government, economic development, education, religion, and the arts: Member1982 Curriculum Committee. Outstanding Young Men of America 1982-83, 1977-78

PROFESSIONAL AND COMMUNITY BOARDS/ORGANIZATIONS -American Association of School Administrators -CT Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) -CT Association of Urban Superintendents

(Current or Recent)

-Urban Superintendents of America Association, Eastern Regional Vice-President -Education Research and Development Institute -Headmasters Association -National Alliance of Black School Educators -Northeast Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Northeast and Islands Advisory Committee -Donors Choose National Advisory Council -Superintendents Network - CT Center For School Change -Southern Fairfield County Superintendents Association -Bridgeport Public Education Fund, Board of Directors -Bridgeport Higher Education Alliance, Co-Chair -CT Conference - United Church of Christ, Moderator

ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCE Trust Representative Rhode Island Hospital Trust National Bank, Providence, RI

07/78 - 03/80

Handled personal trusts and estates in accordance with fiduciary laws and regulations. Interacted with customers and coordinated the integration of various banking services; promoted from Management Trainee. Director of Employment and Economic Development and Education Urban League of Rhode Island, Providence, RI 03176 - 06178

Planned, administered, and implemented employment and education programs. Supervised staff and managed funds. Acted as staff liaison to committees, related agencies, media, business and industry, and educational and governmental units. Participated in numerous public forums (television and radio). Lectured on college campuses. Conducted training sessions. Instructor Urban Educational Center of Rhode Island College, Providence, RI Employment Feeder Representative Opportunities Industrialization Center (O.I.C.), Providence, RI 10176 - 07177

05/74 - 02/76

Taught, counseled, and developed jobs for clients of the Placement Services Department. (Served as consultant to O.I.C. during summer of 1982 with purpose of reviewing and upgrading Placement Services Department.)