he Message of an Unforgettable Day By Daniel A. Domenech/School Administrator, September 2018
THE FAIRFAX COUNTY Public Schools’ leadership team always met on Tuesday mornings. On Sept. 11, 2001, my administrative assistant walked into the meeting room to place a note in front of me. It read: “The North Tower of the World Trade Center has been hit by an airplane.” She did so because she knew that, as a New Yorker, I would be interested.
Initially, I assumed the pilot of a small plane, blinded by sunlight, had crashed into the building. Half an hour later she came back to inform me another airplane had crashed into the South Tower. Recognizing this as an improbable coincidence, I dismissed the meeting and requested everyone return to their posts. I had barely reached my office when the report came in that a plane had crashed into the Pentagon.
As long as I’ve been working in public education, this time of year has always been very special. On behalf of the entire AASA family, we hope our superintendents and those aspiring to become superintendents have a fantastic school year filled with the creation of positive solutions that will translate into greater academic outcomes for our students.
I’ve been saying for years that superintendents are the nation’s foremost thought leaders in public education. Last week, our school system leaders spoke out about some very critical issues that directly affect the lives of our students. We need to listen to what was said and do something about it.
Our high schools are brimming with innovators. There are scores of students from coast to coast driven by ideas and dreams of a better tomorrow.
I recently read an article in a newspaper focused on a discussion between a community college president and a U.S. Senator about how poorly we’re preparing kids for college. The piece contained no authentic examination of data to prove their argument.
Students attending Virginia Beach (Va.) City Public Schools
As schools across the country open their doors for the new academic year, we as educators need to think about what I believe should be our No. 1 goal—changing the trajectory of our students’ journeys and the lives of their families in order for our communities to dream differently.
By Aaron Spence, Virginia Beach City Public Schools, and Ken Kay, EdLeader21
Aaron Spence [left] and Ken Kay [right].
Some of the most exciting and impactful work happening in school systems across the country is around the development of a Portrait of a Graduate, a collective vision articulating a community’s aspirations for all students. We have observed a growing energy and interest in the Portrait of a Graduate among superintendents and other district leaders nationwide. In fact, the cover story of the August 2018 issue of American School Board Journal featured the stories of school systems that are implementing a Portrait of a Graduate.
As more school systems explore the development of a Portrait of a Graduate, we wanted to share 5 lessons we have learned in working with leaders of districts aspiring to prepare their students for 21st century challenges.