Balto. County educators are urged to be leaders FTC 'Expectations' have risen, schools chief tells them

August 19, 1998|By Howard Libit | Howard Libit,SUN STAFF

Baltimore County schools Superintendent Anthony G. Marchione called on the district's principals and other administrators yesterday to rise to the challenge of being educational leaders in the 21st century.

"Just as expectations for students have risen, so have the expectations for our leaders," Marchione said at the beginning of the school system's annual administrative and supervisory meeting at Loch Raven High School. "No matter the label we know that leadership is the key to organizational success."

In a 33-minute speech quoting Boston Celtics basketball coach Rick Pitino, renowned management consultant Stephen R. Covey and the 1997 Jodie Foster movie "Contact," Marchione indicated he wants the district to remain focused on the three goals he put in place soon after becoming superintendent -- improved student achievement, safe and orderly schools and effective use of resources.

Marchione said the beginning of the 1998-1999 school year is "a time for examination of your career as a leader, to engage in a real self-assessment."

He challenged the district's administrators to continue the county's recent record of success in such areas as improving test scores and the state's lowest dropout rate.

"There is continuing evidence we are indeed on the right track for success," Marchione told administrators from the system's 160 schools and central office.

He urged them not to feel overwhelmed or to think that their jobs are "not doable." He acknowledged that being a leader is difficult but said a key part of being effective is to prioritize.

"Perhaps you have allowed leadership to be displaced by management," Marchione said. "Only leaders can decide what things are important enough for them to take on. This distinguishes between leadership and management."

Yesterday's speech marked the unofficial beginning of the 1998-1999 school year for Baltimore County. The district's teachers will return to work today and watch a videotape of Marchione's speech. Classes resume for students Aug. 26.

Pub Date: 8/19/98

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