extra picture, voiceamerica, may meduna


Recently I came across a data summary of a new Gallup poll that indicates that teachers rate their life better than all other occupational groups across four of five areas: emotional health, healthy behaviors, basic access, and physical health. What’s the one area where they are not happy? It’s the workplace environment. According to this report,

The nation’s educators rank sixth in saying their “supervisor treats me more like a partner than a boss.” And they are dead-last –14th — in saying their “supervisor always creates an environment that is trusting and open.”

So, it seems to me that we have happy teachers who hate coming to work. We know that research tells us that quality teaching is the primary determinant of student achievement. Just one year of an ineffective teacher can significantly impact the students’ achievement trajectory over their school careers.

What does a teacher need in order to perform at their best? They need a building principal that creates holds high expectations for student achievement and a culture of employee engagement.

What does a building principal need in order to create a culture of engagement within their school? They need support and leadership from the district office that holds high expectations for student achievement and employee engagement.

What does the district office need in order to create a culture of engagement? They need a school board that holds high expectations for student achievement and employee engagement.

This is clearly a systems issue and everyone, at every level is responsible to contribute to the outcomes of the entire organization; not just one classroom, or one building, or one department.

Are there really any principals or other school administrators out there who don’t make an effort every single day to have the kind of impact that will contribute to satisfying workplaces and to higher student achievement? Okay, even if you could point a finger or two, those outliers can not be responsible for the Gallup survey results. To me this very fresh data suggests that we haven’t figured out how to make this happen yet, at least at scale.

What would it take to create a system of high expectations and teacher engagement? What would it be like to live and work in this kind of environment?

This week we happy to welcome back Lawrence Lussier to our conversation to speak with him about the journey he has made to create himself as the kind of leader who creates these environments and the steps he has taken in his district to make this happen.

I hope that you will join us to catch a glimpse of what could be possible for you and your school, or your district as well.


Dr. Meduna earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Special Education from Wayne State College, Master of Science in Community Mental Health Counseling from the University of Tennessee, and an Ed.S. and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Indiana State University.  In addition, Dr. Meduna is also certified in Reality Therapy through the William Glasser Institute, and earned her coaching certification through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching.  

Dr. Meduna also currently co-hosts a talk radio show with Margaret Ruff called, Educational Leadership.  What else is possible on the VoiceAmerica Variety channel.