Lindbergh superintendent issues another challenge

By MIKE ANTHONY

Lindbergh School District residents have been fortunate to have the excellent leadership and stability provided by Jim Sandfort since he became superintendent in 1991.

Dr. Sandfort can look back with a great sense of personal satisfaction when he retires next June as Lindbergh students have excelled academically and the district has achieved financial stability.

But we’re jumping ahead of the story because Dr. Sandfort still has much leadership to provide and much inspiration to offer.

For example, he announced at last week’s Board of Education meeting that the Superintendent’s Challenge for 2007-2008 would benefit teacher mini-grants with the goal of raising $100,000 for the Spirit of Lindbergh Fund.

Once again, Dr. Sandfort pledged to match each dollar contributed up to $5,000.

Last year, he pledged to match each dollar contributed up to $5,000 for student leadership training to help offset the loss of revenue due to a new districtwide wellness initiative. While the Board of Education last year agreed to commit $5,000 a year for the next three years to continue student leadership training, Dr. Sandfort’s challenge last year sparked contributions totaling more than $10,000.

On Nov. 13, Dr. Sandfort said, “Once again, I will match every donation up to the first $5,000 in hopes of accumulating a lot more than that. So if you have friends in the community who would like to continue encouraging creativity and innovation in the classroom, this would be an excellent time to do it … I think the timing is absolutely correct on this. With all that has transpired regarding the No Child Left Behind Act, there’s a perception that creativity, innovation is being restricted and there’s not as much energy in new ideas.

“And so while the grants are called mini-grants, they’re designed to continue that legacy in (the) Lindbergh School District of encouraging creativity and innovation through the classroom and it’s really a tribute to the teaching staff because it’s the teaching staff that does the work day in and day out that helps us meet all the standards, all the requirements that we have from the state and feds and all the … expectations we set for ourselves.”

We encourage district residents to contribute to the Spirit of Lindbergh Fund and applaud Dr. Sandfort for his challenge to match each dollar contributed up to $5,000 — another instance of his leadership by example.