The selection of Stu Silberman as FCPS's new Superintendent may well provide us an opportunity to see how a leader communicates with his people. Silberman comes with a solid reputation for doing what he says he will do, team-building and open communication. He also vows to cure our district's central office ills. See the message below. Sign up for his listserve...and let's see what happens.
Subj: FW: Personal Note
Date: 5/27/2004 10:08:04 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)
From: Silberman, Stu Superintendent - DCPS
Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2004 10:48 AM
Subject: Personal Note
Dear FCPS Colleagues:
Wow, I am so excited! Thank you all for such a warm welcome!!!! If my first few days in the Fayette County are any indication of what I can expect when I begin working full time as your new superintendent, then the district is destined to for greatness. Everyone I met, from the screening process to the day after the board voted to offer me a contract, are top notch and driven to help kids. With that kind of talent and with the extraordinary resources Fayette County has to offer, we will make this district a crown jewel of the country in record time! I truly believe the sky is the limit.
As I told our Central Office staff yesterday, come July 1, the pace at our office is going to pick up big time! We also talked about servant leadership. We are here, beginning with me, to serve you; that is our purpose for existence. I shared with our staff that operational issues must become non-events so we can concentrate all of our energy on student achievement. I guess what I mean by this is when we walk in a room and hit the light switch, we should not have to worry about whether or not the lights will come on. Now, that is an extreme example but I hope you understand.
I'm big on technology and I'm big on communication and believe that if we are to make a mistake with communication we must over-communicate rather than under-communicate. Knowledge is power and when that knowledge is shared the power for our kids increases exponentially! A leader has to be an effective communicator to ensure our collective goals and strategies are delivered in one clear voice. That's why you will soon see a communications explosion in this district. I will communicate with you regularly through internal channels such as newsletters and email. I have also been in touch with the FCPS Technology Department to establish a listserv for anyone in the district (or out of the district, for that matter) who wants to receive regular communications in the form of newsletters, news releases and crisis communications to name a few. I must tell you that I am a little worried about getting responses from 4,000 people though, so please be kind!
You will also see me visiting schools regularly. I try to book one day per week to visit schools and this in addition to the visits I will make when I am invited to attend special events. It's one of my favorite things to do, and it's something I must do to effectively lead. What better way to learn what individual schools or teachers need to do their job more effectively than to see the day-to-day operations for myself. You are the ones working where the rubber hits the road and I need to hear from you of how we can best support your efforts! Also, by interacting with kids, it keeps me focused on why we exist. I also plan to visit other district facilities such as the bus garages and the Springhill Drive campus.
My mantra has long been 'It's About Kids,' and that is something I live by every day! Every decision made and everything we do must be what is best for kids with no exceptions. From the bus stop to the final bell, everything we do must be done with kids in mind. If we serve them well, then the sky is the limit in terms of their potential.
It's clear this district is on the right track, and together we will set it on the fast track to greatness! Best wishes to you for a safe and fun-filled summer. I look forward to working with you very soon.
\/.............."It's About Kids"