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October 23, 2012

Rathburn earns advanced endorsement on school administrator certification

Three Rivers Schools office

Superintendent Roger Rathburn skipped presentation of his customary ‘Superintendent’s Tidbits’ during the Three Rivers Community Schools Board of Education meeting Monday evening (October 22), but Board President Susan Schmidtendorff filled the spot on the agenda with a ‘tidbit’ about the superintendent.

Superintendent Roger Rathburn comments on his experience in a three-year program through which he earned a Michigan Superintendent Specialty Endorsement, an honor reported by Susan Schmidtendorff (right), president of the Three Rivers Community Schools Board of Education, during the board meeting Monday evening.

Schmidtendorff reported notification from the Michigan Association of School Administrators (MASA) that the MASA has conferred a Michigan Superintendent Specialty Endorsement upon Rathburn.  A letter regarding the honor – signed by MASA Executive Director William Mayes and Associate Executive Director Patricia Reeves – says, “This endorsement is an extra Michigan honor credential that district school leaders earn through an intensive three-year program in which they accrue a body of work in the superintendency that demonstrates research based practices in the seven domains of a superintendent’s work.”

The letter reports that “Roger earned this credential through a State of Michigan approved endorsement program provided by MASA called, Courageous Journey™.  The program has been recognized in national publications as a model for developing high impact superintendent leadership practice and performance.”

In commenting on the endorsement, Rathburn recalled a conversation with Curriculum Director Judy Wordelman about expectations for school district staff members to grow and his conclusion from the discussion that “We need to set an example.  We need to go out there ourselves and continue to learn, continue to take classes.”

Rathburn said, “At the end of three years going through the program, I feel like I’m a better person.  I learned a lot through the journey.  I think our district is better off.”

Rathburn indicated that a number of projects came out of his participation in the program.  Among them was work with Technology Director Scott Grace to consolidate the technology departments throughout St. Joseph County; bringing representatives of all the labor groups to look into a consultant about health insurance “so we could work as a group and collaborate, rather than working independent of one another;” and a lot of integration of technology.

Rathburn said, “It was a really good experience.  It was hard to find the time, but I’m glad I did it.  . . .  It was well worth it.”

Schmidtendorff’s announcement of the endorsement prompted a round of applause for Rathburn and his achievement.

Norton Elementary School Principal Jennifer Graber reported on ‘Norton Elementary Early Release Mondays’ and the ‘Norton PLC Plan’.

For additional information on the endorsement, click on the following links to view the MASA letter noted above and a MASA news release announcing the endorsement:

Monday’s meeting also included a presentation by Jennifer Graber, principal of Norton Elementary School, in which she reported on Early Release Mondays at her school and the Norton PLC (Professional Learning Communities) Plan.


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