NSPRA’s Superintendents to Watch | Dr. Carol Birnbohm

Dr. Carol Birnbohm
Lenape Regional High School District
Burlington County, N.J.

Superintendent Carol Birnbohm leads a district of four high schools and one alternative program, 6800 students, and 1100 staff, making LRHSD one of the largest employers in Burlington County, New Jersey. Because of the scope of Dr. Birnbohm’s responsibilities, communication strategies play an important role in her leadership style.

Dr. Birnbohm knows getting buy-in from the community involves effective two-way communication. She spends a great deal of her time in the district’s schools, holding monthly meetings with administrators, staff, and student organizations. The feedback she gathers from her meetings is often the basis for implementing new programs and initiatives or improving existing ones.

In 2015 she spearheaded the LRHSD Mobile App which provides a hub for district information that users can access anytime from anywhere. This includes district news, athletic schedules, grades, assignments and cafeteria balances, to name a few. The launch of the app was multi-faceted. The District television station created an instructional video which was shared on social media. Traditional news releases were sent to all local newspapers. And the district Website includes a “how-to” for those wishing to utilize the app. Incoming freshmen and parents/guardians are given instruction on its usefulness prior to the start of the new school year.

Since May 2015 the app has been downloaded almost 20,000 times. Dr. Birnbohm and her communication staff developed a ‘Best Practices for Twitter Documents’ to ensure that all district-approved Twitter users have a consistent, positive message. One colleague sums up the impact Dr. Birnbohm has already had on the district: “I can’t imagine a superintendent more deserving of recognition, nor one who works harder and smarter for all students."

NSPRA’s Superintendents to Watch

Thanks to a partnership with West (SchoolMessenger solutions), NSPRA is recognizing the 2017-18 Superintendents to Watch. This group of superintendents has fewer than five years of experience as a superintendent and engages and informs their school communities with new communication technology tools combined with tried-and-true techniques. In the year ahead, NSPRA will profile each of these district leaders.