A Dynamic Board President-Executive Director Leadership Team at Work at MASA

by | Dec 27, 2023 | Articles, Board-CEO Relationship, Board-Savvy CEOs, Board-Savvy Superintendents, Board-Superintendent Relationship, K-12 Educational Leadership, K-12 Educational Leadership

A growing number of really board-savvy chief executives around the country – among them school superintendents and the chief executives of state K-12 associations – make cementing the  partnership with their board president a top chief executive priority.  As I observe in my book Building a High-Impact Board-Superintendent Partnership, “one of the preeminent priorities of a truly board-savvy superintendent is to transform her board president/chair into a strong governing partner, a reliable ally, and when needed, an ardent change champion.”  The reasons are obvious.  Not only does the president wield formal authority as “CEO” of the board, she is often a prominent figure who wields tremendous influence in the community.  In my experience, a really solid board president-superintendent working relationship is critical to the superintendent’s effectiveness as a chief executive officer and ultimately to the district’s educational performance.

As both a long-time superintendent and later executive director of the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators, Dr. Tina Kerr has been in the forefront of K-12 chief executives nationally in taking the initiative in fashioning close and highly productive working relationships with her board presidents.  In this regard, you’ll be interested in the video interview I recently recorded with Tina and her current board president, Dr. Glenn Maleyko (see below), who describe how they divide their leadership labor at MASA, the strategies they employ to keep their working relationship healthy, and a MASA strategic initiative they’ve been co-spearheading.

Interviewing Tina and Glenn, I was struck that, while they observe obvious boundaries in their respective roles, they have enriched and deepened their professional partnership by getting to know each other at a personal level and becoming friends as well as professional collaborators.  A secure, self-confident chief executive, Tina – as you’ll learn from our interview – sees her board as a precious organizational asset she is responsible for developing, not as a potential threat to be guarded against.   How different from many superintendents and  state association CEOs who still waste time worrying about the specter of board “micromanagement”!

In addition to the video below, our readers might want to take a look at the video interview I recorded with Tina and her then-board president, Andrew Brodie, in April 2021, focusing on the “Launch Michigan” strategic initiative they were then leading:  https://www.dougeadie.com/launch-michigan-masa-leads-statewide-out-of-the-box-k-12-innovation-and-change/.

About the Author: Doug Eadie

President & CEO of Doug Eadie & Company, Inc., Doug Eadie assists CEOs in building rock solid partnerships with their boards.

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