and Strength are at the Core of a Good Leader
have been, and continue to be, living in unprecedented times. The changes we
have experienced brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020 have
impacted every facet of our daily lives. This current crisis has certainly
shone a light upon the critical roles that public schools play in the lives our
students, their families and our communities as a whole.
despite the immense challenges, I continue to be astounded and encouraged by
the leadership shown by Florida’s district school superintendents to ensure
that students continue to learn, teachers are teaching, school and district
staff are employed, and public schools continue to serve as the cornerstone of
their communities. I attribute this outstanding leadership to two key
qualities: resilience and strength.
is a crucial characteristic of high-performing leaders. Resilience is the human
capacity to meet adversity, setbacks and trauma, and then recover from them in
order to live life fully. Resilient leaders bounce back from setbacks. They
have the ability to sustain their energy level under pressure, to cope with
disruptive changes and adapt.
is defined as the quality or state of being strong, the capacity
for exertion or endurance. The term strength applies to the quality or
property of a person or thing that makes possible the exertion of force or the withstanding
of strain, pressure, or attack.
Whereas leadership is quite simply the
capacity to lead, clearly one’s capacity to be an effective
leader is directly tied to their resilience and strength. And I assert that
there are fewer jobs that are tougher or more demanding than that of a district
school superintendent. The immense responsibility that accompanies the role of being
the educational leader of a community is not taken lightly by superintendents.
Every decision a superintendent must make takes into consideration what is best
for the students, teachers, district and school staff, as well as the community
as a whole.
decisions have always played a key role in the job of a district school
superintendent. The COVID-19 pandemic clearly multiplied the number and
magnitude of those “difficult decisions.” And as with any difficult decision,
there will be those that embrace and support it and those that disagree and
judge, often without full understanding of the scope of the issue.
Through it all,
Florida district school superintendents have continued to lead their
communities with resilience and strength and make the tough choices necessary
to ensure continued learning and educational opportunities in a safe
environment for Florida’s nearly 2.9 million public school students.
you for leading with resiliency and strength. We will get through these trying
times together and come out wiser, stronger and ever more committed to
educational excellence and equity for all students.
~ Bill Montford