On May 1, John Maxey presented to the members of the Rowan County Board of Education a summary of his first year as superintendent of Rowan County Schools.
In the audience, along with members of the public and staff members from the school district, were Dr. Fred Carter, who works with the Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA) to coach and train new superintendents, and Dr. Matthew Thompson, superintendent of Montgomery County Schools, who served as Maxey’s mentor.
Maxey chose to highlight seven standards in his capstone presentation. Those standards are Strategic Leadership, Instructional Leadership, Cultural Leadership, Human Resource Leadership, Managerial Leadership, Collaborative Leadership, and Influential Leadership. As he began his presentation, Maxey shared with the board members and audience the progression of his internship year.
The Next Generation (NxG) Leadership plan for the Superintendent Internship included high quality professional development, in which Maxey learned how to put into effect the seven effectiveness standards, as well as learning about leadership practices, school law, school finance and budgeting and communication and public relations. He also discussed the 30-60-90 day plans that would be implemented following the District mission and vision and the setting of short term goals. As a superintendent in his internship year, it was important to set up an ILP or Individual Learning Plan for both the superintendent and the District. That ILP provides support and mentoring for leadership and is based around the 30-60-90 day plan and the leadership practices inventory assessments.
Finally, Maxey spoke about what his goals are for the district’s future.
Maxey’s own professional growth plan, following the seven effectiveness standards, included meeting with board members and principals to discuss financial priorities (Strategic Leadership), set up professional development for all principals and administrators to improve instruction (Instructional Leadership), presented his goals and expectations to District staff at the 1st annual Back to School Luncheon (Cultural Leadership), initiated a new substitute calling system to improve efficiency and retention of substitutes (Human Resource Leadership), implemented new protocols for needs assessments and the forms used to gather information (Managerial Leadership), worked closely with local leaders to build strong relationships (Collaborative Leadership), and attended a legislative breakfast and met with many local officials to have dialog around the impacts of the pension bills (Influential Leadership).
“Of all these standards, the cornerstone of my leadership style is that of collaboration,” said Maxey. “I think it is important to develop strong partnerships in the district, the community and beyond to allow everyone to have a vital role in our public education system.”
At the conclusion of the meeting, after the Board members had declared their exemplary rating for the superintendent's evaluation, Rick Whelan, chair of the school board, said, “We decided to give you an exemplary rating. You deserve it, based on the quality of work you’ve exhibited this year. Speaking for my fellow board members, we know that you have the attitude that we’re not there yet as a district. We know that you understand that there is room for improvement. It was a big decision that the board made last year when we selected you as superintendent and, after viewing tonight’s presentation and speaking with Dr. Fred Carter and Montgomery County Schools Supt. Matthew Thompson, we feel that tonight’s presentation verifies that we made the right decision.”
Board member Dr. Scott Davison said, “I was impressed by changes you’ve made in different leadership structure, using evidence to inform instructional changes, anonymous feedback, which can be risky. My overall impression is that your positive approach is trickling down through the teachers, staff and students.”
Maxey responded by saying, “I thank you very much, but no matter what ranking you give me, I hope you know that I’m going to give you 110%. It inspires me when I talk to our staff and administrators across the district and hear what they are saying about our school district and the direction in which we are headed.”