His work focuses on leading and learning in the digital age as a model for moving schools and districts forward. This has led to the formation of the Pillars of Digital Leadership, a framework for all educators to initiate sustainable change to transform school cultures. As a result Eric has emerged as an innovative leader, best selling author, and sought after speaker. His main focus is purposeful integration of technology to facilitate student learning, improve communications with stakeholders, enhance public relations, create a positive brand presence, discover opportunity, transform learning spaces, and help educators grow professionally.
Eric has received numerous awards and acknowledgements for his work. He is a CDE Top 30 award recipient, Bammy Award winner, NASSP Digital Principal Award winner, PDK Emerging Leader Award recipient, winner of Learning Forward’s Excellence in Professional Practice Award, Google Certified Innovator, Adobe Education Leader, and ASCD 2011 Conference Scholar. He has authored and co-authored the following:
- Uncommon Learning: Creating Schools That Work for Kids
- Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times
- Communicating and Connecting With Social Media: Essentials for Principals
- What Principals Need to Know About Teaching and Learning Science
He has also contributed on education for the Huffington Post, co-created the Edscape Conference, sits on the FEA Board of Directors, and was named to the NSBA “20 to Watch” list in 2010 for technology leadership. TIME Magazine also identified Eric as having one of the 140 Best Twitter Feeds in 2014. He now presents and speaks nationally to assist other school leaders embrace and effectively utilize technology. His blog, A Principal’s Reflections, was selected as Best School Administrator Blog in 2013 and 2011 by Edublogs. It was also recognized with an Editor’s Choice Content Award in 2014 by Smartbrief Education.
Eric began his career in education as a Science Teacher at Watchung Hills Regional High School where he taught a variety of subjects (Biology, Chemistry, Marine Biology, Ecology) and coached several sports (ice hockey, football, lacrosse). He then transitioned into the field of educational administration as an Athletic Director/Supervisor of Physical Education & Health and Vice Principal in the New Milford School District. During his administrative career he has served as District Affirmative Action Officer and was the president of the New Milford Administrator’s Association. During his tenure as high school principal he successfully implemented numerous initiatives including a new teacher evaluation system (McREL), Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), oversaw Common Core implementation, and initiated a new grading philosophy. Eric received his M.Ed. in Educational Administration from East Stroudsburg University, B.S. in Biology from Salisbury University, and his B.S. in Marine/Environmental Science from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
You can follow Eric Sheninger on Twitter: @E_Sheninger.
Eric shares a little about his family, background, and hobbies, including being raised by a Mom and Dad who were both school principals, and how he wound up in education despite earning degrees in marine biology and fisheries biology (3:00)
Why and when Eric made the change from teaching to school administration (8:27)
Eric’s biggest challenge in the early years of being a school admin (9:48)
What true leadership is all about (12:00)
How Eric overcame those early admin challenges and became better through them (12:50)
How a student’s courage to speak frankly completely changed Eric’s education career (18:16)
Eric’s advice for teachers and admins who want to radically change their ways (22:21)
How your impact on a school will change when you move from teaching into administration, and why admins need to strive to be a leader, not a manager (25:47)
The best leadership advice Eric has ever received (33:43)
Earn the respect of your teachers by giving them solid, instructional feedback (34:12)
Two books that had a massive impact on Eric’s thinking (35:07)
Eric’s advice for school administrators on working with students (35:42)
His advice for school administrators on working with the teachers in your school (36:32)
What Eric would say to his younger self if he could travel back in time to when he was just starting out in school administration (37:32)
Books mentioned in this episode
Connect with Eric Sheninger
Educators Lead is a podcast created to help launch educators into the next level of leadership. This show is for you if you are interested in educational leadership as an assistant principal, principal, superintendent, teacher or someone who hopes to be a school leader one day. Educators Lead offers inspiration and practical advice to help you lead more effectively. Jay Willis interviews school leaders three days a week to discuss why and when these educators made the decision to move into school leadership, challenges along the journey, and stories that made it all worthwhile. Educators Lead is a great resource for any educator looking to make a greater impact.
Educate. Inspire. Lead.