Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Your Superintendent Crisis Plan Doesn’t Prepare You For This

Cross posted to the Storychasers blog.

Terry Brown is the superintendent of Earlsboro Public Schools, in Oklahoma, and participated this past summer in one of our Celebrate Oklahoma Voices digital storytelling workshops. In May of 1999, Terry was superintendent of Bridge Creek Schools, an unincorporated community devastated by a F5 tornado. Terry’s 4 minute COV video describes a bit of what it was like for him to be the superintendent of schools during that time. As he told me today, no matter how detailed your school crisis plan may be, it can never completely prepare you to deal with a tragedy of this magnitude. Like several of the other videos in our COV library which address times of crisis and hardship, however, Terry’s video is uplifting as it highlights the positive relationships which were strengthened between school officials and the community during this time.

Find more videos like this on Celebrate Oklahoma Voices!

Not only is it fantastic to work with a superintendent like Terry who is leading the educators of his district by modeling digital learning and sharing, it is also eye opening to consider how valuable his asynchronously-shared wisdom can be for other administrators as well as crisis planners. Terry serves as a guest speaker for university classes from time to time, and this year has shared this video with an instructor and class in advance to introduce some of the issues and points he’ll make in his face-to-face presentation. It’s great to see our COV videos and the skill set COV participants acquire through the workshops being used to effectively “blend” learning experiences before and during face-to-face instructional times.

Terry Brown is an inspiration, not only for the exemplary leadership he provided to the citizens and residents of Bridge Creek during and following the 1999 tornado disaster, but also for the leadership he continues to provide as a school superintendent serving in Earlsboro. I hope in the months ahead, more superintendents in and outside of our state will follow his example in getting “hands on” with digital storytelling and storychasing.

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