Excellence in Education in the Face of Tight Budgets and Limited Resources

As a school administrator, the challenge of maintaining excellence in the face of limited resources and diverse needs requires a broad understanding of the challenges facing our public schools and society, a range of multi-faceted skills, and the ability to use consistent, documented processes for making hard decisions with various outcomes.  Throughout the decision-making process, the school administrator must promote the essential purpose of public education, to prepare students to be effective citizens in their local and global communities, and ultimately enable all learners so that their achievements have no boundaries.  This purpose can be achieved for each learner when a differentiated approach to instruction and assessment is employed.  The education of each student must include opportunities to master the basic competencies as well as unique skills that can be used to achieve her/his potential as a contributing community member.  Even during these tough economic times, it is possible to create an educational environment that achieves excellence by promoting leadership and collaboration at all levels of the institution.

I believe that I am a leader and administrator with a vision and ability to plan for, and achieve excellence in education for all learners.  At the end of my first year of teaching, I participated in the development of the Common Core of Learning, which led to the state’s current educational standards.  Through my two decades as an educator, I have acquired the ability to identify and meet specific needs and systemic shortcomings of an educational institution, so that positive, substantive outcomes are produced.  A school administrator must facilitate the planning at each level within the district, with the resulting strategic plans at the board level, and comprehensive action plans at the school level, leading to improved student learning.  This task can only be accomplished by building a shared vision among all constituents.  Developing and successfully implementing long and short range plans depends upon the energy and makeup of the teams charged to carry out these plans, thus an effective school administrator brings together and facilitates such teams so that each team member’s strengths contributes to the collective goal of the organization.  Plans designed to bring systemic changes for excellence in learning must employ all resources internal and external, and be executed by a leader who is knowledgeable, resourceful, and visionary.  This leader must have outstanding interpersonal skills, with the ability and will to collaborate and build partnerships, and have an intrinsic knowledge of education law, personnel, fiscal planning and budget management.  Most importantly, a school administrator must demand a safe and effective learning environment for all learners, so that a state of the art curriculum could be implemented and assessed to provide optimal learning for each student. I believe that I am such a school administrator.

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