Dr. J published in national magazine

The National Association of Independent Schools published an article — "Supporting Heads: Sustaining a Flourishing Leadership Partnership"— written by Dr. Jorgenson and Dr. Tekakwitha M. Pernambuco-Wise of Sea Crest School in Half Moon Bay.

The average tenure for a private school head is only about five years; the job is considered highly stressful, and heads tend to rely heavily on the members of their boards of trustees for support. But a frequent concern of school leaders is that their trustees don't provide the support they need, and sometimes fail to realize that the head of school requires support in the first place.

To help address this problem, Drs. Jorgenson and Pernambuco-Wise surveyed 207 school heads and 59 trustees to find out what exactly "supporting the head of school" means. Their goal was to provide school leaders and trustees with data and strategies to help align the type of support trustees provide, with the sort of support heads need.

According to the article, heads and trustees shared nearly identical five top responses to "what do heads need and value most?" though in different order, with trustees identifying an additional priority.

For heads, the list reads:

  1. Moral Support
  2. Respect for Expertise
  3. Advice and Guidance
  4. Less Operational Involvement
  5. Open Communication

For trustees, the list reads:

  1. Advice and Guidance
  2. Strategic Support
  3. Respect for Expertise
  4. Moral Support
  5. Open Communication and Public Appreciation (tie)

The article also discusses how the needs of male and female heads differ, what types of support is most valued at the different stages of the headship, and concludes with recommendations for board members to help them better meet the needs of school leaders.

You can read the entire article on the NAIS website.


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