Wawasee school chief leads way in blogging

Here is a good example of the effective uses of blogging to improve your standing as a leader.

SYRACUSE – Last month, 23 Wawasee Community Schools students were sent to the hospital after a driver crossed the centerline and crashed her car head-on into their school bus.

When Superintendent Mark Stock arrived at the hospital, he learned no students were seriously injured – information he wanted to share with parents as quickly as possible.

Using a hospital computer, Stock accessed “The Wawascene,” a personal weblog he maintains, and posted an entry about the crash,telling parents “everyone appears to be OK.”

It wasn’t the first time Stock used the site during a crisis. On Sept.. 19, Milford School was put into lockdown after reports that a student left the school in a fit of anger, saying he’d be back.

Stock responded with a post, writing, “We took a few calls regarding Milford School being in ‘lock-down’ so I thought I would post the real story this morning to squelch any wild rumors.”

He is obviously found a key area of his role that the blog serves well. Considering the crisis that seem to be more and more common for schools, it makes sense. But, the key lesson in this article is the effect his blogging has had with his national standing and his peers.

The novelty of The Wawascene has drawn some national attention. Stock will speak about blogging at the National Conference on Education in New Orleans in March. He will share the podium with Clayton Wilcox,superintendent of Pinellas County (Fla.) Schools. The two will speak about “Supers Who Blog for a Purpose.”

“(Stock) really is a leader among his peers. He was among the first superintendents to develop a blog,” said Amy Vogt, communications and media relations manager for the American Association of School Administrators. The association hosts the National Conference on Education.

The conference is the largest annual gathering of school superintendents in the U.S., Vogt said.

This year, only six of about 70 conference speakers were designated“distinguished lecturers” Vogt said. Stock is one of the six, Vogt said, saying he was selected because he is an innovator in blog use.

“It’s not a communication medium a majority of school superintendents are using,” Vogt said. “Mark Stock is definitely out in front on this.”

Social Networking and blogging for business purposes is still a novelty, so those who do it are quickly perceived as leaders or innovators. This won’t be for long, so if you want to rise above the pack, take the initiative, and use the tools available.

For example, this coming weekend, as I have mentioned here previously, I was invited to lead a workshop presentation on Internet and viral marketing to the state chapter board members of the National Society of Hispanic MBA’s. I doubt this opportunity would have ever presented itself if it were not for my active blogging and other online activities.

HT: Hugh Hewitt

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