Program alum Dr. Chris Moran shared his wisdom on effectively working with school boards.
At a recent cohort meeting, Dr. Chris Moran, Superintendent of Whitehouse ISD, shared his experiences in enhancing the superintendent – school board relationship. Drawing on his 30 years in education, including 11 as a school superintendent, Dr. Moran shared with fellows his 10 Commandments for Board Superintendent Relations:
I am the Board, your boss, you should have no strange goals before me
Take the time needed to work with the board to develop a strong strategic plan so everyone is working towards the same shared goals.
Don’t take the name of the board, your boss, in vain
It is so important that the board knows that you respect and value them. You can do that by investing time with them.
Remember to keep holy the board’s day
Board meeting days, and days leading up to board meetings, should be time to focus and ensure the board meeting is a successful and pleasant experience. Prepare the board well in advance of big agenda items, starting months in advance if needed.
Honor your Board of Trustees members
Never say a disparaging word about a board member to anyone. You can be sure it will resurface if you do.
You should not kill your future by picking battles you should not fight
Pick your battles wisely and be a consistent leader.
Don’t commit unfaithful acts against your board
As superintendent you are always on the clock. Dress and act like the superintendent they hired you to be at all times.
Don’t steal the credit
Give credit when credit is due. Make time daily to give encouragement and recognition to someone in your district.
Don’t bear false witness against your board
Give only solid and accurate information to the board. Hiding or shading information will ruin trust and destroy relationships.
Don’t covet other people to serve on the board
Serve the board you are given, just bloom where you are planted with the board you have.
Don’t covet your neighbor board’s operating procedures
Develop your district operating procedures with the board, so everyone is on board with the ground rules.
These 10 items provided a basis for the discussion that followed. Fellows shared their experiences and discussed how to best apply the points raised by Dr. Moran, and others, in their own districts. Collaboration with peers is one of the key components of the District Leadership Fellows program, and this session provided a great demonstration of that process in action.