July 2017

Dover School Community,

I am Bill Harbron and I became superintendent of the Dover School District on July 1, 2017. I most recently served as the Superintendent of the West Muskingum Local School District in Zanesville, Ohio, a district approximately 1600 students on a single campus. Prior to becoming the superintendent of West Muskingum, I also served as middle school principal and superintendent in Wisconsin for twenty-one years. I also had sixteen previous years in Ohio as elementary teacher, elementary principal, and middle school principal. 

I received my Doctorate of Education in Education Leadership from Edgewood College, Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Master of Education from Miami University, and Bachelor of Science in Education from Miami University.

My wife, Marilyn and I are excited about the opportunity to live in the Dover community. We are grateful for the warm welcome and reception we have received since we arrived. The community feels like the right place to be. We continue to feel that accepting this position and relocating to this area was the right decision.

I look forward to serving as the superintendent of the Dover School District and recognize that I have much to learn about the Dover School District and the community. Without a thorough understanding of the district and the community, I could easily be trapped into making jump-reflex decisions that could result in negative consequences for the Dover School District.

In conjunction with the Board, I developed and am implementing an Entry Plan. The purpose of this plan is to provide an opportunity to access the past and current state of the District and to set future goals.

After analyzing and sharing the data received from meeting with stakeholders, I will lead the District in defining a common future and a course to get there based on the shared goal of providing each student in the community with an exceptional education.

Substantial time will be required to develop a comprehensive understanding of the Dover School District and community and the transition of leadership will have a greater chance of success if the necessary time is invested in the process.

The purpose of the entry plan is to organize a set of collaborative inquiry activities, through which information about the school system is collected, organized, interpreted collectively, and used to establish goals for improvement. Entry Plan activities are well underway and will continue through December.

If you wish to share your observations about the Dover School District, I am open to hearing your thoughts and perspective. Please feel free to contact the District offices at 516-6804 to schedule a meeting either for you or for a group.

Through life experiences and from my years in administration, I have developed a set of rules that guide my life and leadership. I recognize as I continue to develop as an individual and a leader I may amend or modify the rules, yet I have discovered that these rules serve as a consistent guide. The following are the rules I choose to live and lead by:

·         I share gratitude and accept gratitude from others.
·         I have courage to make and stand behind difficult decisions because I know I considered the impact on others.
·  I stand up for myself and my values (consciously choosing to live from my energetic levels of energy instead of my stress default levels}
·         I have open and honest conversations and ask what is true or not true. (" I'm curious, what is the story behind that statement...")
·         I care deeply about others, allowing them to own their emotions and be problem solvers.  I lead and empower people
·         I care deeply about and advocate for students.
·         I am loyal to family, friends, and colleagues.
·         I honor commitments by doing what I say I will do.
·         I do all things to the best of my ability. I strive to leave things better than what I found them.
         I plan and organize because it is essential for successful management.
·         I forgive and am forgiven.
·         I will make a positive contribution and difference in the lives of others by doing purposeful work.
·         I lead with my heart and intellect.
·         I reflect for future growth and refinement of what I do. I embrace mistakes and fears as opportunities.
·         I honor all aspects of leadership and don't expect myself to be the master of all because I embrace and utilize the gifts and talents of others.
·         I find the good in all things.

There will be times when I will make mistakes or not make the popular decision. It is important to recognize that all of us are human, and we make judgements and errors. Every action is an opportunity to learn and improve.

It is my aim on monthly basis to write a superintendent's message for the website. It will be an opportunity to share and update you on the work occurring in the Dover School District.

In closing, I encourage you to enjoy the remainder of your summer. Please feel free to introduce yourself and to get acquainted.


William R. Harbron, Ed.D