Monday, April 30, 2012

Heading for Reno

I'm bound for Reno, Nev., to check out the home turf of Charlotte-Mecklenburg's newly hired superintendent, Heath Morrison.  If you've got questions, let me know.  I've already forwarded reader questions about magnet schools,  how Morrison involved faculty in handling budget cuts and what he'll do for suburban schools.  I can't promise there will be time to get every question answered, but I'll try,  and Morrison seems receptive.

Between CMS stories last week, I caught up by phone with David Fullenwider, president of the Washoe Schools Principals Association.  He's been with the district 23 years,  and says Morrison has re-energized and revamped a district that had gotten used to doing things the way they'd always been done.

Fullenwider describes Morrison as the hardest worker he's ever known,  saying it wasn't unusual to log on and find emails he sent at 4:30 a.m.  (maybe I shouldn't be surprised that my tag-along agenda for Tuesday starts at 5:30 a.m.).  The down side,  Fullenwider says,  is that some principals think the high standards can be unforgiving:  "If you mess up,  man,  it's pretty harsh."

But Fullenwider calls Morrison one of the most impressive people he's ever met.  His message for CMS:  "The employees of your school district are going to work harder than they've ever worked in their lives,"  he said.  "But you're going to see positive results that will make it worth it."

Update from the Minneapolis airport: The Reno Gazette-Journal ran pieces this weekend about the transition in Reno and Morrison's departure package.

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