First Conversations With Manitoba Superintendents: Talking Their Walk


  • Carolyn Crippen
  • Dawn Wallin



Thirty-seven superintendents lead public school divisions in the Province of Manitoba; their role is to implement the policies set out by the Board of Trustees. In a period of rapid educational change and growth in Manitoba, superintendents are increasingly concerned with rural/urban issues; the fallout from recent school division amalgamations; and local/global educational perspectives. The leadership style demonstrated by superintendents is crucial to their ability to respond appropriately and adequately to growing issues of cultural, economic, social, and community influences. This article describes a study of Manitoba superintendents and their perspectives on their leadership style. Their narrative are analyzed through the lens of servant-leadership as defined by Robert K. Greenleaf and an inventory of 10 related characteristics: listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, foresight, conceptualization, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building community. It appears that this small sample of superintendents regard awareness, foresight, conceptualization, commitment to the growth of others, and building community as priorities in their leadership modus operandi.