The Superintendent’s Rulebook : A Guide to District-Level Leadership book cover
1st Edition

The Superintendent’s Rulebook
A Guide to District-Level Leadership

ISBN 9781138294745
Published June 22, 2018 by Routledge
216 Pages

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USD $34.95

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Book Description

A concise and accessible text, The Superintendent’s Rulebook explores the human-resource, political, and leadership dimensions of the superintendency. This important book is designed for new aspiring superintendents and Boards of Education, helping readers to apply the many leadership lessons taught in training programs and education leadership courses to their everyday practice. Full of real-world examples, takeaway strategies, and supplemented with discussion and "inbox" questions, this valuable resource encourages reflection, while capturing the day-to-day spirit and complexities of district-level leadership.

Table of Contents


Meet the Author



Part 1 Human Resources

Chapter 1 Tone & Climate

Chapter 2 Labor Relations/Negotiations

Chapter 3 80-90% On Site-Time Commitment

Chapter 4 Secretaries, Support Staff

Chapter 5 Discipline

Chapter 6 Accountability/Evaluation

Chapter 7 Facilities Management

Part 2 Political Realities

Chapter 8 Building the Relationship with BOE/Trustees

Chapter 9 Training BOE/Trustees Members

Chapter 10 Your Marriage with the BOE/Trustees

Chapter 11 Live by the News, Die in the News

Chapter 12 Know Who You Answer To and To Whom You are Charged to Guide and KNOW the Difference

Chapter 13 Everything Counts

Chapter 14 All Politics is Local/All Education is Local, Until the State Says It Isn’t

Chapter 15 Never Become a Crusader

Chapter 16 Developing Your Network

Chapter 17 Interviewing

Chapter 18 Public Information Center

Part 3 Lighthouse

Chapter 19 Leadership Fitness

Chapter 20 Logic Means Nothing, B.F. Skinner Had it Right!

Chapter 21 Learn and Understand the 20-60-20 Scale Rule

Chapter 22 Be Patient

Chapter 23 Do Your Homework, and, Keep Your Eye on the Ball

Chapter 24 Web 0.0 to 2.0 & Beyond

Chapter 25 Educating in the Digital World

Chapter 26 Learning is Messy

Chapter 27 Quality of Life

Additional Resources

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Patrick Darfler-Sweeney is a retired Superintendent of Schools of the Hunter-Tannersville CSD, New York, and an Adjunct Instructor for SUNY Oneonta, USA.


“The role of the superintendent is multi-faceted and probably more complicated now than ever before. The good news is that they now have a rulebook! Patrick Sweeney provides leaders with rules to live by and learn from, and having been in the role for many years, he understands the life of a superintendent better than most.”
Peter DeWitt, Consultant and Author of “Education Week” blog Finding Common Ground

The Superintendent's Rulebook is a must read for anyone who works in public education. Not only does it provide valuable information to those thinking about the superintendency as a career, but it also provides insight into the day-to-day thinking of a school superintendent. In this day and age, when understanding each other is so vital, the book provides a blueprint to understand the complex job of school superintendent.”
Charles S. Dedrick, Executive Director, New York State Council of School Superintendents

"Darfler-Sweeney connects with readers by providing personal information. At times, it seems as if one is sitting down with a mentor for a cup of coffee. Wherever district leaders may be in the sojourn toward the superintendency, this book offers reasonable insight into the challenges that are likely to be faced."
Lisa M. Antunes, assistant superintendent, Hillsborough Township School District, Hillsborough, N.J., School Administrator magazine