This week’s episode in our season of bridging the faculty/admin divide: Greatness. What do faculty think make a good administrator? What do administrators think make a great faculty member? And is there a way we can all miraculously inch that direction together? I was lucky to be joined by three incredibly great humans to discuss these big questions: Buck Cooper, 8th grade math educator; Cassie Mendrop, Director of Human Resources; and Blake Ware, Head of Upper School.
5:27-7:15: Blake Ware’s synopsis of what makes a great teacher, which involves “a real commitment to the human side of things.”
7:30-9:27: Listen to Buck Cooper illustrate the project of school with the best metaphor I’ve ever heard: “What is school except this ongoing cycle of getting the wheels on only to have them come off only to try to put them back on before they leave us as seniors.”
10:11-11:07: Learn about the employee lifecycle from Cassie.
12:10-14:05 : Hear real talk from Blake about what it’s like to be an admin recruiting faculty in this particular historical moment.
14:20-19:13: All three guests weigh in on creative ways to approach recruitment in our unique school context.
20:30-22:14 : Buck reminisces about an administrator he encountered in his early career that personified the “north star” of what an administrator should be: “ She took me seriously enough to get past the nuts and bolts pieces . . . and engaged me at the level I really wanted to engage: learning how to think about how children think.”
22:18-23:50: What keeps Blake up at night, and why trustworthiness is perhaps the most central non-negotiable in an administrator.
24:45-25:36: Cassie shares what Kevin Lewis told her in her first interview that made her want to work at St. Andrew’s, and she elucidates the chief challenge of administrating: balancing the needs of so many constituencies.
26:48-28:18: Blake’s ideas on how we, both faculty and admin, can inch toward greatness: finding things that are energizing and finding ways to do those things together.
28:25-29:55: Buck describes the double-pronged power of curiosity and love in improving community and helping us inch toward a “greater greatness.”
31:20-33:15 : What Cassie has learned from exit interviews about why people leave, and why preserving relationships is at the heart of job satisfaction.