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Redefining Professional Development

As an athlete in my childhood (yes… past tense…) I relished the feelings following a hard-earned victory or long workout that mixed total exhaustion with exuberant energy or excitement.  The same feelings emerge after a large musical production following weeks of long, hard rehearsals, and I believe we educators thrive on the ebb and flow of exhaustion and passionate energy in the ongoing cycles of the school year.  Today I am both exhausted from two weeks of long-planned leadership retreats and absolutely energized by the excitement of passionate leaders focusing on the right work in ISD 191.  Read more »


Principals Leading the Way

“Being collaborative has to become a non-negotiable…” – ISD191 principal.  Music to my ears!!  Principals in ISD191 are currently engaged in a two day retreat focused on leading in a district that embraces the work of a Professional Learning Community.  Our administrators are working in collaborative teams to clarify what being “results-oriented, focused on learning, and collaborative” will look like in all BES schools, and how we will work together to lead these efforts.  Their commitment to student learning and doing the hard work necessary to get better results is energizing!  Read more »


What do principals need?

I received a complimentary copy of Leaders of Learning, by DuFour and Marzano, at the Solution Tree PLC conference in Minneapolis, MN about a month ago and have finally begun digging into it.  Chapter 2 of this book describes the district’s role in creating a PLC culture district-wide and points out specific steps for superintendents and district administrators.  Chapter 8 of Learning By Doing highlights several key components regarding the alignment of district and school processes and structures, but chapter 2 of this new book gets into more detail.  Some key points: Read more »