Being a head of school at times can be isolating because one does not have colleagues on an equal level on the school hierarchy. Faculty are in “the trenches” together, there are usually principals for elementary and secondary, but there is usually, only one head of school. I’ve always tried to have a collaborative leadership style and really rely on leadership teams, which usually consist of the principals, business manager, tech and admissions director, etc. Hearing others’ opinions and combining ideas to generate an even better model has led to great success for the schools I’ve worked in. A board chair also can serve as a partner, but they are sometimes removed from the daily life of the school.
The Senri and Osaka International Schools have a unique model where I also have a Head of School counterpart. Mayumi Ito, shown above, is the head of the Senri side of the school and we meet daily and help each other lead our respective schools. The Two Schools Together model often means we are working together on joint projects. It is really nice to have someone on my level to work with. We made a combined welcome speech at Tuesday’s music concert, Mayumi in Japanese and my speech in English. I find bouncing ideas of someone with a different perspective, allows me to fine tune initiatives to give them better success.