, , ,

Here are some interesting articles we received and discovered this past week…


Lessons in Leadership: 5 Administrators Share Advice for First-Year Principals

Quote from Article:

Taking on responsibility for the success of a building filled with students and educators is no small feat. Even for experienced educators making the jump to administration, the first day — let alone the first year — as a principal carries a ton of pressure. 

To help alleviate some of the stress, we asked a handful of veteran superintendents and principals from a variety of districts nationwide what advice they’d give to first-year principals. Here’s what they had to say.


Richard Carranza, chancellor at New York City Department of Education

You can’t do everything, so don’t try.  The number one job of the principal isn’t to solve all the problems you face, it is to help focus everyone on the right problems — the ones that if we solved would make a huge difference. You provide the focus, and the team develops the solution.


Richard Gordon, principal of Paul Robeson High School in Philadelphia

  • Kids come first. The challenging part is ensuring everyone thinks of kids first and foremost.
  • Think of impact on school/team. Because it is always important for principals to consider each action and decision from the perspective of teachers and how morale and classrooms may be impacted, unintended consequences are real.
  • Make time for self-care. Drink plenty of fluids/water and take time out for lunch.
  • Listen more than you talk. Change happens incrementally over time. It is never immediate.
  • Strategize. Take a very strategic and methodical approach in identifying areas of improvement, setting long- and short-term goals with your team, and developing and modeling the culture you expect.


Michael Hinojosa, superintendent of Dallas Independent School District

As you are taking over a campus, it is important to have a consensus-building entry plan to determine the priorities to tackle. I would meet individually with as many people as possible (at least 50) within the first 60 days, including the central office, campus staff and community member…

Beth Houf, principal of Fulton Middle School in Fulton, Missouri

I think the biggest piece of advice I would give folks is to realize that it’s about relationships. Take time to walk around and hear the stories of the people that you’re serving. Ask them how they’re doing. Ask them how you can help. You don’t ever get a chance to redo that. That means you’ve got to — those first few years, especially — get there a little bit earlier than everybody. You’ve probably got to stay a little bit later than everybody, but get around it and make sure that you’re in.


Janice Jackson, CEO of Chicago Public Schools

Listen and engage with all members of your school community, including students, teachers, staff, parents and community members. It can seem intimidating when you have a larger school, but it is critical that every person in your building understands you and your leadership style, and it’s equally important that you understand the needs of all stakeholder groups.

District Deeds Synopsis:

When we read this article we thought of:

  • Dozens of highly skilled Proncipals and Administrators that have left the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) under the educationally, financially and operationally incompetent Elementary School Superintendent (ESS) Cindy Marten.
  • Principals who were improperly fired for honestly speaking out against Marten abuses.
  • Replacement Principals selected by ESS Marten that failed ethically or operationally that were fired.
  • The many fantastic SDUSD Principal candidates that were not Marten cronies that have moved to other districts as Principals rather than work for the abusive, corrupt and incompetent Marten.
  • All of the Principal and Staff abuses by incompetent Marten rewarded and reinforced with raises and contract extensions by the corrupt Tricky Dick Barrera and the rest of the “bought and sold” Board of Education

Understanding that the new SDUSD Principals are facing a horribly toxic work environment and virtually zero effective operational and organizational new Principal mentoring supports under Marten, District Deeds can thought this article might help those abandoned new Principalsthroughthe first few days of the new school year.

As for the rest of the school year, the only advice District Deeds can give to new Principals is some insight provided to us by a SDUSD Principal just before they fled the SDUSD for a better job in another local school District:

“Under Marten I just keep my head down and my mouth shut” – Former SDUSD Principal

Good Luck new SDUSD Principals…under the incompetent ESS Marten and corrupt Trustees you will need all the luck you can get!!!

‘Adulting 101: Life Skills for Teens’ Course Sponsored by City

Quote from Article:

All 7th-12th grade students in Yolo County are invited to attend “Adulting 101: Life Skills for Teens” hosted by the city of Woodland Public Library and Community Services Department.


Any middle school or high school student in Yolo County can attend and choose up to four workshops to learn about life-skills not typically taught in high school, including how to do your taxes and basic car maintenance.

Amber Irfan, a senior at Woodland High School, states, “I think this event will be really cool and informative for teens. I had just landed my first job and didn’t know how to fill out a W-2 form.”


The following nonprofit organizations, government agencies and businesses are presenting introductory courses on:

  • Budgeting & Saving
  • College Financing & Scholarships 
  • Job Application, Resume & Interview Tips 
  • Taxes, W-2s & W-4s 
  • Self-Defense
  • Social Media Etiquette
  • Informed Citizens
  • Painting & Art
  • Makeup & Beauty
  • Mental Health & Self-CarE
  • Yoga for Stress RelieF
  • Healthy Relationships & Sex Ed
  • Car Maintenance
  • Community Service & Leadership
  • Eco-Conscious Living
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Healthy Cooking & Grocery Shopping on a Budget
  • Rights of Minors
  • Navigating High School
  • Navigating College

District Deeds Synopsis:

A great idea by the local community in the City of Woodland California to help provide real “life skill” information for all Middle School and High School Students.

It is refreshing to see local non-profits in Woodand band together to provide services to the community that are not simply a political propaganda quid pro quo to the local school district for California Foundation Grant money or some other payoff like SDUSD typically works with some of its insider, crony non-profits and for profits especially in the most financially stressed areas of the SDUSD.

In the article we did not see one reference to a phony, tired, overused slogan like SDUSD Vision 2020 or Vision 2030.

We did not see an incompetent Supertintendent like ESS Marten try to barge into the event with fake photo ops in front of token students or families of color.

We did not see a corrupt Trustee like Richard “Tricky Dick” Barrera spout lies and platitudes to the news media while betraying the educationally and financially needy communities that he is pretends to represent while cashing in professionally through his lucrative labor union and construction company connections.

Instead we see the community leaders taking charge at the event for the benefit of ALL Students:

“Adulting 101 kicks off with a welcome from Woodland Mayor, Xochitl Rodriguez, followed by keynote speaker Christy Hayes, a local restaurant owner and former U.S. Air Force heavy diesel mechanic.”

And with the financing:

“Adulting 101 is made possible through a grant supported by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.”

No poliitical payoffs, no lie filled propaganda, no school district interference or corruption.

Compared to City of San Diego and the SDUSD, how refreshing!!!

Brain Images Used to Tease Out How Top Teachers Connect With Students

Quote from Article:

Great teachers don’t just know their content and pedagogy: They inspire in their students passion for their learning. Studies have shown the importance of this deep engagement, but it’s been harder to show exactly how teachers make this kind of connection.

A new project by researchers from the University of Southern California and Bank Street College seeks to shed some light on those connections out with in-depth observations of teachers who are adept at steering students through adolescence, one of the most emotionally volatile periods of their academic career. Teachers were not chosen randomly, but recommended for the by their principals for being particularly effective at engaging their students.


“What we’re really trying to do is characterize for the first time, in a much deeper way, the kind of integration between social emotional and cognitive work that effective teachers do … and how this affects how students own their own thinking and engage deeply with material and become motivated,” she said.

Before each class, teachers talk through what they hope to achieve in the lesson. Then, during class, researchers monitor teachers’ brain activity, emotional and stress responses, vocal patterns, and body language to try to understand how teachers’ practices and physiological responses affect how well students connect with their lesson, according to Doug Knecht of Bank Street College, who developed the classroom observations.


“One of the most important things to walk away with is that teachers, especially  great teachers, are making decisions that aren’t out of a playbook necessarily—or not even that obvious to them consciously—but they’re making decisions because of what they’re getting from their kids as part of their relationship in the moment,” Knecht said. “I think that is one of the harder things for novice teachers to figure out because they aren’t secure enough yet in how they are relating with their students” even when they are secure in their content knowledge, he said. 


Burns recalled being asked to think about each of his students in turn, and then give feedback to them as though they were standing in front of him. 

“It was really quite interesting. I was very moved in doing that part of the exercise,” he said. Thinking through how he would give feedback to each of his students has made him more thoughtful about both his own and his students’ emotions when planning to give them directions or feedback in class, he said.

District Deeds Synopsis:

We wanted to include this article in the last Sunday Reads of the summer to try and help our dedicated and skilled teachers faced with the burden of  a toxic, oppressive work environment created by an incompetent Superintendent, a corrupt Board of Education, and an inexperienced Principal.

District Deeds beleives in the great SDUSD Teachers that make miracles happen every day in their classrooms and want to do everything in our power to strengthen the skills of those dedicated individuals.

We urge teachers that read this article to take the extra step to mentor your new Teacher colleagues and help them mentor their Students.

Good luck and best wishes to all SDUSD employees under the thumb of the Marten/Barrera dictatorship.  We need your best effort with our Students more than ever before!!!

Now for our Quote of the Week:

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill

Have a great week!!!



  • Your family has been injured by the San Diego Unified School District, go to the District Deeds Complaint Forms page to find instructions to fight for your Civil Rights!

Please Click the Link Below and sign the Petition Today and READ the COMMENTS to Support the REMOVAL of Marten by SDUSD Stakeholders!

FIRE San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten Immediately!

  • You want to be sure you don’t miss an issue of District Deeds, click the “follow” button below and you will get an email automatically when an article is published on District Deeds.
  • If you prefer social media, click on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn and follow District Deeds!!!