(Episode 6): Reframing Admin Accountability as Transparency & Trust: Looking to our Past to Help Inform our Future

No season on accountability could possibly be complete without a conversation on what the word means for administrators.  If admin are often at the top of the organizational hierarchy, who holds them accountable?  What does all of our talk about reframing accountability mean in relation to the work of leading the school? And while we are at it, who actually are admin versus staff versus faculty? Hollie Marjanovic sits down with Head of School Kevin Lewis and Cathy Davis, who currently serves as our math lab coordinator but has successfully juggled multiple faculty and admin roles since she began at SA in 1989.  In our conversation, we dive into St. Andrew’s past to get some answers about how we have become who we are today.

1:32-5:35: Cathy Davis’ favorite role in her time at St. Andrew’s and what it teaches us about the interplay between administrative work and the work of teaching.

5:41-6:58 : What Kevin meant by “accountability” when he set it as a theme for us all this year: the strong supports we all provide each other as we work in concert.

7:08-8:28 : The question Hollie posed that totally stumped Kevin: WHO is actually considered “administration”? Kevin’s conclusion: “Does it matter as long as we are able to support each other as we work together to accomplish our mission and the goals of our school?”

9:16-11:18: What was the structure of administration like when Cathy Davis first began in 1989?

11:20-16:33: What schools were like before the unceasing onslaught of digital communication.

16:35-18:10: To whom are administrators held accountable? Kevin shares the official structural answer (the board) and then his more pragmatic take: “I’m accountable to all of you [faculty, parents, students, general public].”

17:36-20:39: What that mysterious SLT (Senior Leadership Team) is about and why it exists.

20:44-25:37: We examine whether more circular or bottom-up methods of evaluation and feedback could be powerful mechanisms for administrators to improve their performance.

25:38- 27:32: How does our admin model and ratio of faculty-admin-staff compare to other independent schools? 

27:35-29:43 : Cathy recalls a pivotal turning point in our school’s history, and why meeting locations matter.

29:44- 31:45: What has changed in our school’s environment to shift structural, admin, faculty, and student needs?  

31:48-34:11: Hollie, Kevin, and Cathy talk about board meeting minutes and the vital intersection of transparency and trust. 

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