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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Superintendent and Supernintendo

I was on the phone soon after 5:00am this morning with two superintendents of school districts adjacent to ours to discuss the weather and how it might impact the operation of school today. We determined, based on reports that the area would receive only 2-4 inches of snow and the temperatures would likely rise to 35 during the afternoon, that we would all maintain normal school hours today.

The thought of snow days and school cancellations takes me back perhaps a dozen years ago to a conversation I had with children sharing their lunch-time with me when I was a principal. On that particular day we were joined by the superintendent of the school district. The kids weren't familiar with the title of superintendent and had likely never heard the word before so they asked who he was and what role he served. As he explained many of his responsibilities to the young children he casually mentioned that he was the only person who could decide to close school. The kids liked that since they always enjoyed an unexpected day off of school.

Now, I must point out that I always ask the kids who eat lunch with me what they want to be when they grow up. I also have to remind you that at the time of this incident Nintendo video games were extremely popular. Well, when it came time for one first grade boy to announce his intended occupation, he pointed to the superintendent and proudly exclaimed that he wanted to be a supernintendo, just like him, so he could close school whenever he wanted.

It was just a matter of a few letters that separated superintendent and supernintendo, but there are days when the myriad bureaucracy and paperwork make my job seem like it is a game.

Stay warm and drive safely on the snowy roads.

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