This past week, East Penn School District community members and employees had the opportunity to meet for the first time and question the final two candidates for the district’s new Superintendent of Schools in a casual forum-like setting.
The first candidate, Dr. Joyce Mundy, is new to the district, but has over two decades of educational experience, ranging from work as a language arts teacher, Superintendent of Schools, and her most recent professorship at Florida’s Stetson University. Mundy takes special interest in preserving school and student safety and utilizing restorative practices to resolve conflict and help guide policy.
She cites some of her greatest accomplishments as lobbying in D.C. for student safety and her involvement in anti-bullying initiatives, which led her to attend President Obama’s school safety summit.
Mundy believes she will bring openness and feelings of connectedness to the district by fostering greater relationships and partnerships with the community.
“Communication is extremely important and is a strength in terms of my work,” Mundy said at Wednesday’s Q&A. “ I would create opportunities for conversations to happen and for me to get to know all parts of the community.”
On Thursday evening, Kristen Campbell, veteran staff of the EPSD and current Assistant Superintendent, made her case for the job.
Campbell, whose 23 years of work in the district have contributed to the recent implementation full-day kindergarten, points out that her long-time EPSD employment would not hinder her in taking the more executive and broad role of Superintendent of Schools.
“A critical aspect of leadership, regardless of years of service in any organization, is the ability to question the status quo and the ability to be networked,” Campbell said. “While it’s great to know an organization really, really well, in order to help that organization grow, it’s equally important to be sure that you’re looking outside of the walls of the district to get new ideas, fresh ideas, [and] different ways of doing things.”
Campbell is a firm believer in taking an inward look into how each part of the district works together to solve problems and grow. She encourages parents, staff and students alike to speak up and have a dialogue to encourage change and development.
“…When I think about the characteristics of an individual who will be successful in continuing to lead the work [of superintendent], we need someone who first and foremost recognizes the importance of establishing high quality relationships with those in the organization,” Campbell said.
While both Mundy and Campbell see themselves as being connected and strong leaders, only one will succeed Dr. Michael Schilder, whose last day as Superintendent of Schools is June 30.
See our extended coverage of superintendent selection in the upcoming June edition of The Stinger.