When I was named Superintendent of Shelby County Public Schools in 1988, I made a concentrated effort to build relationships with existing leaders to learn about the community my family and I would call home, and to engage citizens in what was planned in education. In 1996, I had the ideal opportunity to expand my efforts by joining the charter class of the Leadership Shelby program. It was a perfect opportunity to partner with others in Shelby County – some I knew quite well; others I needed to know.
The benefits were evident: 1) developing strong relationships with leaders from all facets while understanding how they felt about the school district and how I could solicit their support. 2) learning the various aspects of the community and the people involved while understanding how all the agencies operated and how they could support our students.
Because of my worthwhile experience in Leadership Shelby, I recommended at least two school administrators and/or teachers for the program during the remainder of my tenure as superintendent. For the past 13 years, as CEO of Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative, I have recommended at least two of our staff members each year. I believe in what Leadership Shelby has to provide and I highly encourage others to follow in the footsteps of those who founded the program in 1994.