I firmly believe in the power of transparency for the success of any organization. Open and honest conversations break down barriers, reduce misunderstandings, and foster closer relationships with stakeholders, building trust and credibility essential for a positive environment.

While transparency may be challenging, it is crucial. Leaders must discuss challenges, vulnerabilities, and failures, taking responsibility and moving forward to find solutions. Openly addressing challenges leads to a stronger organization, with informed and supportive members.

When I was the superintendent in Somerville, I started an initiative to foster transparency in the school district. It was called “Talk with Tim,” and offered a way for any stakeholders, including parents, community members and staff, to submit a question to me on any topic. I promised a response within 48 hours, and was willing to discuss anything that wasn’t confidential or a matter that involved confidential personnel or student situations. 

When I responded, I also copied the staff on my responses, so they would be fully informed about stakeholder concerns and questions. This initiative was successful in fostering candid discussion and idea-sharing in the district. 

I feel so strongly about the need to be transparent with stakeholders that I have decided to introduce a similar initiative at the New Jersey School Boards Association. 

Each month, I plan to host a live podcast, “The Boardroom,” from noon to 1 p.m. I will be joined by NJSBA employees and/or members of our extended community. We will discuss services and programs, and take live call-in questions from members on any topic. 

The podcast will be broadcast live on various platforms and available on demand. Join us on NJSBA’s YouTube, Facebook, Twitter/X and Instagram. The podcast will be archived for later viewing and listening. 

Participants can submit questions using the chat function, or by calling in to the live programs at 609-278-5292. Mark your calendars and follow us on social media to stay updated.

I look forward to our transparent conversations — with and for board members !