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Powerless to Powerful


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Table of Contents

FOREWORD PREFACE Sunnyside's Story Getting Help Learning About Sunnyside Using the Data Beginning the Change Skin in the Game ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS INTRODUCTION: Sharing the Lessons PART I: DRIVING PRINCIPLES AND THE CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK Supporting Principles The Conceptual Framework Academic Press Social Support Relational Trust Academic Press, Social Support, and Relational Trust Working Together Change From the Outside In PART II: LEADERSHIP LESSONS LEARNED Leadership Lesson #1: One-on-One Is Powerful Leadership Lesson #2: Intentional Actions Inspire Hopefulness Leadership Lesson #3: Time Is Golden Leadership Lesson #4: Positive Opposites-Action Teams Leadership Lesson #5: Evidence Is Everything but not Anything Leadership Lesson #6: If Time Is Golden, Then Language Is Platinum Leadership Lesson #7: District Office: Friend or Foe? Leadership Lesson #8: Support the Ones Who Support the Work Summary REFERENCES INDEX

About the Author

Charles Salina, PhD, was the turnaround principal at Sunnyside High School in Sunnyside, WA. He is currently chair of the Leadership and Administration Department in the School of Education at Gonzaga University. Suzann Girtz, PhD, is a former high school math and science teacher who now teaches research and assessment in the School of Education at Gonzaga University. Girtz also consults and does grant work, including evaluation, and is particularly interested in the areas of assessment and secondary school reform. Joanie Eppinga, MA, is the owner of Eagle Eye Editing & Writing (


It is so refreshing to read a book about school reform from the point of view of the people who actually did the work. This book is proof that with dedicated, tenacious, and student-centered educators-anything can happen! -- Becky Berg, Superintendent, Marysville School District, Past President ASCD
In this timely book, the authors share important lessons of a lived experience in school leadership in which a low-performing school was genuinely transformed into the opposite. And this account comes not from an inner-city in a large school system, but from a mid-size district that could exist anywhere in the nation. This well-written book is a must-read for every educator who embraces a commitment to success for all. -- Michael Dunn, EdD, Superintendent, North East Washington Educational Service District 101
In the current context of school systems, people often feel not only unloved, but also powerless. This book shows that person-to-person relationships can restore the balance in leadership-impoverished school systems, turning them into organizations where people listen, embody greater vitality, and act with love and courage. -- Shann Ray Ferch, author Forgiveness and Power in the Age of Atrocity: Servant Leadership as a Way of Life; National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow; professor of Leadership Studies, Gonzaga University
The work of Dr. Salina in high-poverty, high-minority, underachieving schools affirms that poverty is not a sickness, diversity is not a challenge to overcome, and hope is not a strategy for change. Powerless to Powerful combines the theory, the evidence-based research, and the proven practical application to truly transform your school and district. -- Trevor Greene, National Association of Secondary School Principals' 2013 National High School Principal of the Year

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