The Ottumwa Courier


September 23, 2013

Leading the way


"You talk to most [school] administrators, they know who Todd is," Miller said. "I contacted Todd and said I'd really like to get your thoughts on it. At first, he was sort of like a mentor. [As time passed], he had a lot of input. At one point, I said, 'How would you like to be a co-author?'"

The biggest change didn't affect Miller's theory of leadership. It did affect the day-to-day adventures of his character, the principal.

"When I contacted [Todd Whitaker], his first question was, 'This is great; what do you need?'"

But Miller wasn't looking for a pat on the back; he wanted an education expert he respected to give an honest evaluation.

"He said, 'I think your theory is pretty solid, but if I were to be critical, I'd say you were only telling the story for one group.' He's right. Leadership is leadership. If you're in a management position, I think this book will resonate with you."

After revising parts of the book with feedback from Whitaker, Miller feels like the story could now work for principals or for teachers who manage a class of students — and need to get the best out of those students. Anyone who works with people, Miller said, could benefit from the theories in the book.

"I look back on who influenced my leadership [when I was] in Ottumwa," he said. "Teachers, coaches and administrators who did a good job. They are people who are effective at developing relationship. They demanded excellence, and I wanted to be around them."

Rather than being in an offensive confrontation, young people felt challenged to be the best player or student they could be.

Text Only
  • 0710 OTT Bulldogs update color photo -L -M High school students lead Bulldog charge

    OTTUMWA — Two Ottumwa High School students gave their very first press conference Wednesday morning to share their progress on decorating Ottumwa with large bulldog statues. Alyssa Cash and Madyson Feather joined Main Street Ottumwa Executive Directo

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0710 OTT Smart snacks color photo -M -L Schools adopt new food regulations

    OTTUMWA — This fall, students across the country will find big changes in the cafeteria, but Ottumwa kids may find they approve of the changes. The new "Smart Snacks in School" standards from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) went in

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Survey finds math, science grads earn top dollar WASHINGTON (AP) — It seems to matter less whether your alma mater is public or private than what you study — math and science in particular — when it comes to finding a high-paying job after college, according to a report released Tuesday by the Educ

    July 8, 2014

  • Pekin and Tri-County to share superintendent PACKWOOD — Both Pekin and Tri-County Community School Districts have voted to approve Operational Sharing Incentives for superintendent during the 2014-15 school year. During the 2014 legislative session, the Legislature passed and the governor signe

    July 2, 2014

  • Teaching the teachers

    OTTUMWA — The community has formally advised the school district that strong teachers lead to strong students. Now Ottumwa teachers have "coaches" to help them boost educational muscle. Though the idea is now formalized under a Legislative state plan

    May 29, 2014

  • 0525 OTT OHS graduation web-color photo 3 OHS seniors say farewell OTTUMWA - Sunday marked the end of high school for all the graduating seniors from Ottumwa High School. Family and friends of the students packed the Bridge View Center, leaving standing room only for late-comers. You could feel the excitement in the

    May 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • Slideshow: OHS graduation

    May 25, 2014

  • 0524 OTT OCS graduation web-color photo 3 Small ceremony for big achievements OTTUMWA - Saturday was a special day for the four seniors graduating from Ottumwa Christian School. This small graduating class is double the size of last year's class and illustrates the small-group learning style of the school. Family and friends o

    May 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Slideshow: Ottumwa Christian graduation

    May 24, 2014

  • IHCC partners with WPU OTTUMWA -- Indian Hills Community College and William Penn University have announced a partnership that should provide a seamless academic progression for nurses who choose to enroll in a RN-BSN program after receiving their registered nursing licens

    May 23, 2014

AP National