What makes a good school leader?
Q: Each leader has his or her own management style. How would you describe your style as it relates to people and to projects?
A: I pride myself in setting up systems which will allow people to be successful. I started in education as a science teacher, and as a scientist, I loved to tinker with variables, experiment, and solve problems. As a leader, I develop schedules, find a way to obtain resources, and look for efficient ways to get things done.
In short, I hope the things I do make it easier for teachers to do their jobs, and ultimately our students will benefit.
Q: Evaluating a school official, like most other leaders, isn’t easy due to the myriad factors involved. But what are some criteria you’d use to do that?
A: The government keeps trying to make one-size-fits-all evaluation tools that focus on test scores. No Child Left Behind has improved teaching and learning, but has also unfairly targeted and labeled.
Race to the Top will be the next big program, and it, too will have strengths and weaknesses, lots of red tape, and a little money with lots of political strings. Whatever system we have, scores should improve, and be comparable or better than similar districts in our area.
For more of Mr. O'Riley's replies to these two questions, see the July 23 Galva News.