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SAGE Publications
The Relentless Pursuit of Excellence: Lessons From a Transformational Leader / Edition 1

The Relentless Pursuit of Excellence: Lessons From a Transformational Leader / Edition 1

by Richard D. Sagor, Deborah L. Rickey
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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781412996457
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 04/10/2012
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Richard Sagor recently retired from his position as professor and director of the Educational Leadership Program at Lewis & Clark College. In 1997 he founded ISIE (pronounced “I see”), the Institute for the Study of Inquiry in Education, to work with schools and educational organizations on the use of action research and data-based school improvement while he was a professor of educational leadership at Washington State University (WSU).

Prior to his work at the university level, Sagor had 14 years of public school administrative experience, including service as an assistant superintendent, high school principal, instruction vice principal, disciplinary vice principal, and alternative school head teacher. He has taught the entire range of students, from the gifted to the learning disabled, in the areas of social studies, reading, and written composition.

Educated in the public schools of New York, Sagor received his BA from New York University and two MA degrees as well as a Ph D in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Oregon.

Beyond his work as a teacher and administrator, Sagor has had extensive international consulting experience. He served as a site visitor for the United States Department of Education’s Secondary School Recognition Program and has worked with the Department of Defense’s overseas schools, numerous state departments of education, and over 200 separate school districts across North America. His consulting has focused primarily on leadership development, the use of data with standards-based school improvement, collaborative action research, teacher motivation, and teaching at-risk youth.

His articles on school reform and action research have received awards from the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Educational Press Association of America. Sagor’s books include The TQE Principal: A Transformed Leader; At-Risk Students: Reaching and Teaching Them; How To Conduct Collaborative Action Research; Local Control and Accountability: How to Get It, Keep It, and Improve School Performance; Guiding School Improvement With Action Research; Motivating Students and Teachers in an Era of Standards; and Collaborative Action Research for Professional Learning Communities.

Sagor can be contacted at the Institute for the Study of Inquiry in Education, 16420 SE Mc Gillivray, Suite 103–239, Vancouver, WA 98683, or by e-mail at

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Foreword by Sheldon H. Berman
About the Authors
1. The West Linn School District
District Context
2. Three Key Leadership Functions
Transformational Leadership
The Development and Nurturing of Shared Community Vision
The Development and Nurturing of an Ethic of Continuous Improvement
The Development and Nurturing of the Organization's Commitment to Productive and Ethical Human Relations
Quaker Theology: As a Belief System and a Metaphor
3. Making a Virtue Out of a Necessity: The Beginnings of the People Strategy
The People Strategy for School Improvement
Supervising the Probationary Teacher
Annual Celebration of Excellence
4. Hiring the Very Best
The Eye of the Proprietor
Faculty Recruitment/Selection at West Linn High School
Reflection Questions: Hiring the Very Best
5. Making Continuous Professional Learning an Organizational Norm
Professional Development and the People Strategy
Professional Development Strategy #1: Budgeted Building and District Funds
Professional Development Strategy #2: Professional Growth Planning
Professional Development Strategy #3: Tuition Reimbursement
Professional Development Strategy #4: Cooperative Master's Program
Professional Development Strategy #5: Professional Development Fund
Leading Through Limited Partnerships
Reflection Questions: Making Continuous Professional Learning an Organizational Norm
6. Providing Responsive Developmental Supervision
Four Key Concepts Governing Supervision
Supervision When Professionals Are Having Problems
A Veteran Teacher Struggling With Classroom Management
Reflection Questions: Providing Responsive Developmental Supervision
7. Differentiated Supervision: Evaluation Outside the Box
Supervision and Evaluation at West Linn High School
When is Traditional Evaluation Necessary?
The Proposal for a Differentiated Supervision System
Reflection Questions: Differentiated Supervision
8. The Extended Shadow of the Leader
An Outside Superintendent
Example #1: Assigning Students to Classrooms at Cedaroak Park Elementary School
A Keen Eye for Talent
Example #2: Multiage Classrooms at Boeckman Creek Elementary School
Reflection Questions: The Extended Shadow of Leadership
9. The Acceptance of Uncertainty
Scientific Management and Proven Practices
Feigning Certainty
Choosing a District-Wide Computing Platform
Providing Developmentally Appropriate Education at Willamette Elementary School
Uncertainty and School Culture
Reflection Questions: Acceptance of Uncertainty
10. Hubris: An Ever Present Concern
The "Worrier in Chief "
The Political Context of Public Schools
Owning Up To Flaws
The High School Annual Report: Warts and All
The Gang of 1,000
Reflection Questions: Keeping Hubris at Bay
A Final Word

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