God bless the school superintendents who need more help than ever these days in dealing with the Covid 19 crisis

By Joseph Batory

As the superintendent of schools in the Upper Darby School District, the largest school system in Delaware County located just west of Philadelphia for 15 years, I had oversight over 12 schools, more than 12,000 students, 1000 staff members, and an annual budget approaching $100 million.

As a result, I have tremendous empathy for the challenges being faced by today’s school superintendents especially in dealing with the Covid 19 crisis.

 In the style of past talk show host David Lettermen, I have provided below a bit of humor about the Top Ten Realities of being a school superintendent. 

The Top Ten Ways You Knew You Are A School Superintendent

10. You can always tell when it is a full moon without ever looking outside!

9. Your spouse has written many secret letters to the School Board requesting your dismissal.

8. You wake up every day at 3:00 AM frantically checking for snow…even in the summertime.

7. You can always tell that there has been another major problem when news media reporters are waiting to see you just outside your office.

6. Your job has been listed in the vacancy bulletin of the American Association of School Administrators and you have no idea how it got posted.

5. For all family dinners you always observe Pennsylvania’s “open meeting” Sunshine Law and invite the press.

4. You always send your spouse into the liquor store to buy the wine and beer because a superintendent should never been see in such a place.

3. You are regularly and stupidly asked: “What does a superintendent do anyway?”

2. Your name now appears on the walls of the bathrooms of schools and many other such places in the community.

And finally…..The Number One Way you know you are a school superintendent…

1.     Your spouse’s daily greeting when you come home after work is: “Should we start packing?”


Joe Batory is believed to be the only school superintendent in Greater Philadelphia to be honored with the Lifetime Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of School Administrators after he retired as Upper Darby’s school superintendent.

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