ILASCD Journal

Summer 2015

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 40 of 55

Article Pathfinding: Using Climate and Accountability Toward an Optimal School Culture Ryan Donlan Taking a walk through school culture "yesteryear" was an enjoyable experience for me, when friend and colleague, Todd Whitaker, and Superintendent, Sam Miller, asked me to co-write The Secret Solution: How One Principal Discovered the Path to Success. Sam envisioned a book on leadership, with a four-quadrant matrix that spoke to a leader's focus on accountability and culture. Todd envisioned the incorporation of a storyline with characters found in "Anywhere Middle School," including new principal Roger Rookie, and a cast of Superstars, Fence- Sitters, and Bullies as teachers and staff. Superstars and Bullies are self- explanatory; Fence-Sitters are folks who can align themselves with one group or the other, depending on the circumstances that are present on any given school day. I helped Todd and Sam develop an engaging plot, with themes regarding school culture that if we closed our eyes, would definitely be "spot-on" in terms of our own experiences. One of our main takeaways was how people within our schools affect school culture and how our faculties and staffs are influenced by a leader's focus on climate and/or accountability. Our story was nostalgic to me, in part, because I was, in fact, a "Roger Rookie" in my first two years as principal. It wasn't until I found The Secret that led to a more positive school culture, that I began SUMMER 2015 | VOLUME 61 | NUMBER 2 | PAGE 41

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of ILASCD Journal - Summer 2015