This is a companion blog to a post I recently wrote about the principals in our district stepping out with their own blogs (a complete list here). However, superintendents are also finding their voice in digital space across the province. In speaking with a lead Superintendent in the Eastern United States, his comment was, “it seems like more than half of the superintendents blogging in North America are from BC”.
The reasons why superintendents are joining the blog world are similar to those of school principals — it can help build community, and allows us to tell our story in our own words; it is excellent modeling for leadership, and for the students we encourage to write for public audiences. The topics covered by superintendents are varied – they can range from the issues of the day to reflections on school visits. In the past year alone, there has been a dramatic increase in district leaders finding and sharing their voice in the digital world.
Who is blogging, and what they are saying:
Scott Benwell, Vancouver Island North (here)
Patrick Bocking, Sunshine Coast (here)
Jim Cambridge, Sooke (here)
Steve Cardwell, Vancouver (here)
Teresa Downs, Gold Trail (here)
Keven Elder, Saanich (here)
Larry Espe, Peace River North (here)
Tom Grant, Coquitlam (here)
Jeff Hopkins, Gulf Islands (here)
Dave Hutchinson, Nanaimo – Ladysmith (here)
Jeff Jones, Kootenay Lakes (here)
John Lewis, North Vancouver (here)
Greg Luterbach, Kootenay-Columbia (here)
Mike McKay, Surrey (here)
Karen Nelson, Fraser-Cascade (here)
Monica Pamer, Richmond (here)
Brian Pepper, Prince George (here)
Jan Unwin, Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows (here)
With a few more superintendents planning to launch soon, we are approaching 20 per cent of 60 district superintendents in the blogosphere (and, I am sure I have missed one or two). It can be a challenging role from which to blog. The profile and political nature of the job, the relationship with the local board and the ministry, all, give pause. While the role and issues may be the same, the blogs are as different and as individual as the superintendent writing it. Some employ their blog more as a news site, some focus exclusively on learning, while for others, it is a diary of experiences. They all have important stories to tell about their communities.
It is challenging to write on a regular basis for a public audience, so it is great to have more company in this space. Many of these people I see only once or twice in a year. Now, I can learn from them, and with them, on a regular basis.