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7 Questions with Travis Grulke
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Travis Grulke
Name: Travis Grulke
Current title: Superintendent of the LCMS Schools in Michigan
Current organisation: Michigan District, LCMS
I have been in education for the past 20 years since graduating from Concordia University, Ann Arbor. Currently serving as the Superintendent of Schools for the Michigan District, LCMS - work with the 145 schools throughout the state. Previously served in a similar capacity for the Ohio Lutheran Schools. Started my career as a middle school teacher before jumping into the role of principal.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader in the education sector?
We are in need of great educators for our classrooms... and lifting up the next generation of leaders for our schools. There is a shortage of outstanding educators and this is causing a significant challenge for our schools to continue to remain excellent in all they do.
2. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Covid has drastically changed that... but normally I try to be on the road as much as possible visiting our schools throughout the state. What I enjoy most about my position is that there is such a variety of things I am blessed to do each week... no week is the same.
3. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Just came off of an extended battle with Covid. No matter how important we think we are as leaders and essential our role is to our organization, the team you work with and support is vastly more important. Time away humbles us and reminds us how grateful we are to work alongside talented individuals.
4. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Should be required reading for everyone! After the Bible, no book has had more of an influence on my life. Simple truths that work in both my professional and personal life. When I am faithful in following those seven habits... my day/week is managed well.
5. How do you find and keep great leaders in the education sector?
If someone has the silver bullet for this one... please share! This answer could be 100 pages. I try to empty my cup for the administrators in our schools to encourage them to empy their cups for the teachers they serve on a daily basis. Great administrators understand the 1000 tiny gestures it takes to lift up and support their staff. We need to continue to ask the Good Lord to help us identify/encourage/challenge the next generation of leaders.
6. What's most important as a leader in the education sector for developing a culture of wellbeing in your staff and students?
Serve the people God has put into your life. The needs/wants/desires of those a leader serves should be placed above their own.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader in the education sector so far?
I was wrestling with a significant issue and was talking it over with a mentor of mine who had served in schools for many years. He was quiet and let me talk and then shared this - "Our Lutheran Schools exist to educate students - not employ adults. Always ask yourself what is best for your students." Those words have served me well when dealing with many issues through the years.