2018-2019 Superintendents to Watch-Peter Blake

Peter Blake
Rome City School District 
Rome, N.Y.
https://twitter.com/pblake_RomeCSD 

Each week, Peter Blake updates his superintendent blog, Leading Through Listening , with a post and a featured quote of the week. His posts praise recent events, remind readers about upcoming events and touch on hot button topics. The online platform hosting his blog includes a widget containing his Twitter account, which updates in real time.  On his Twitter account, one can find pictures of student artwork hanging in the halls, action shots from sports games and musical events, alerts such as snow days and closings, school assemblies and reminders of upcoming happenings throughout the district. 

Described by colleagues as “the leader of new use of technological communication itself,” Blake has built a culture of transparency pertaining to district issues, decisions and news in his district by communicating on multiple platforms.  

He has implemented the use of Peachjar, a digital flyer program. Flyers that used to be sent home in students’ backpacks and were easily lost are now sent directly to emails and are posted on the district website. Thanks to Blake, information is now at the tips of families’ fingers and can be accessed on mobile devices. This system has streamlined communication, helped the environment and saved district money on printing costs. 

Technological communication aligns with Rome City School District’s strategic plan objective to “build awareness of and build connections with community partners, services and supports.”  

For example, the district works with Rome Alliance for Education on an initiative called “Rome Community Schools,” which was formed based on the realization that students’ home lives have a large impact on the way they learn and grow. This initiative brings community partners together to provide families with support they may need with services such as health insurance, mental health, physical health and job searching. Community partner informational events for this initiative are promoted on Peachjar, Blake’s blog, social media and the district website, illustrating Blake’s commitment to his students and their families. 

The impact of Blake’s leadership is apparent in all he does for his district.  He continuously seeks to improve systems in place, by implementing more technology throughout the district and by setting a prime example on how to effectively utilize it.