Why your superintendent should be on Twitter, featuring @BASDSUPT

Some time ago, I interviewed Dr. Joseph Roy, Superintendent of the Bethlehem Area School District and a very active Twitter user. As I was looking at his Twitter feed two weeks ago, he was explaining his reasoning in waiting until the morning before making a decision about whether or not to cancel schools:

This got me thinking back to my own school days and the guessing game that you played on snowy evenings…will they or won’t they?  When will we find out?  Well, if I had Twitter and Dr. Roy was my Superintendent, I could have found out when we’d get an answer to that magical question.  Of course, this has more implications than the anxiety of 12 year olds: parents could find out when they’d have to rearrange work plans, bus drivers could determine shifts, etc.  Dr. Roy’s Twitter use provides some great reasoning about why a Superintendent, and not just a school district, needs a Twitter account:

1. Transparency and customer service: The tweet above is a great example of transparency – it shows what Dr. Roy is thinking and when he’ll make his decision about whether or not to cancel schools.  Such openness into an ordinarily opaque system is refreshing, but there’s more.  Check out some of the responses Dr. Roy has to questions: He is clearly dedicated towards providing great customer service on Twitter to his students, parents, teachers and staff:

2.  Cheerleader in Chief: One of the primary jobs of any Superintendent is to advocate for their school district, including trumpeting their successes and highlighting the students that are doing great work.  This, like much of Dr. Roy’s activity, is done through retweets.  Examples include:

3.  Advocacy:  It’s no secret that Superintendents need to advocate for their school district, as well as for public education in general:

4.  Share information and updates: Twitter, of course, is a fantastic platform to discuss the news of the day and share events.  Dr. Roy does this in spades, largely through retweets of other Bethlehem Area School District accounts:

There are unquestionably more reasons, but these are the first four that came to mind.  Any more you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments!

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