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Moving on to Year #2

March 23, 2009

This month marks my one year anniversary as the “official” superintendent for Saline Area Schools.  It has been a tremendous experience.  I have greatly appreciated the support of the staff and community as I have learned the ropes.  Looking forward, I see challenges and opportunities around every corner.  The world that we live in is changing, and preparing our students for that increasingly complex society is becoming more and more difficult.  As a district we need to plan for the future.  We need to think critically about what we do now and how we can improve for the future.

But how do we create this vision and make it attainable?

Peter M. Senge, suggests the best way to make your vision a reality is found in a principle he describes as ‘Creative Tension.’ He illustrates his principle by likening it to an elastic band. On one end is the vision, and on the other end is the current reality. He explains that creative tension comes from “seeing clearly where we want to be and telling the truth about where we are. The gap between the two creates a natural tension.”

Building on this idea, Senge goes on to explain that raising the reality toward the vision, or lowering the vision toward the reality, can resolve this tension. Basically, without an idea, an inspiration or relating to a new hope; the current reality will never change. The flip side is also true. It is very difficult to uphold a vision when we have no real sense of the current reality.

I see Saline Area Schools as one of the premier districts in the State of Michigan – that is my current reality.  However, I want more for our students and community.  Over the next year we will begin to look at the big picture. By looking at an issue from a bird’s eye view, we gain a new perspective. With this new perspective and a current reality, it’s much easier to form a new vision.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 29, 2009 6:16 pm

    As the Saline Leadership Institute plans for the next session, it is so nice to see that you–the Superintendent and a past graduate of SLI–are quoting Peter Senge and using his principles. I think “our” vision will move us towards becoming THE premier district in the state. Keep focusing on the big picture.

  2. April 2, 2009 5:33 pm


    I hope that I write for many in the community in support of your work, and look forward with great expectation to your “big picture” blogging over this next year.

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