December 2014 Member Spotlight - Dr. Francisco Durán

Dr. Francisco Durán,
Superintendent, Trenton Public Schools
Trenton, NJ
ALAS Superintendents Leadership Academy (SLA) Alumnni

Career Highlights & Education:B.S. in Education, University of New Mexico, M.A. in Educational Administration, San Francisco State University, M.Ed. in Organization and Leadership, Teacher’s College, Columbia University, and Ed.D. in Organization and Leadership, Teacher’s College, Columbia University.

I began my career as an educational paraprofessional working in Special Education and have been fortunate to work at every level of the K-12 educational spectrum. I have been fortunate to work in some amazing urban districts (Albuquerque, San Francisco, and Philadelphia) where I served as a teacher, athletics director, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, regional superintendent, and for the past two and a half years as the superintendent of the Trenton Public School District.

What I like best about my job isI love being able to give back to the community and provide opportunities for staff, students, and parents that will open doors for their future!

The best advice I’ve ever received is:  The best advice I ever received came from my mentor who told me to stay focused on the students and to always engage in decision making with students’ interest at the forefront. She reminded me that often individuals will try to make issues around adult issues….you can not lose track of what our work is all about. And never take things personal!

Advice you would give a new superintendent or school system leader:  The advice I would give is to surround yourself with a well-rounded team of people who are diverse and have different strengths, especially strengths that are different than yours. Always look to hire people that are smarter than you and individuals that can add to your team. Having the right people alongside you will be crucial to your success.

If I ever snuck out of work early, I could probably be found: On the train headed to New York City for the weekend to catch a Broadway play, on the train headed to Washington D.C., or to the airport to catch a flight for a weekend trip!

People would be surprised to know that:  I have visited 48 out of the 50 states on my travels, traveling is my passion!

One thing I wish more people knew about ALAS is:  ALAS is truly like a family, people genuinely care about one another and support each other. I have met many people through ALAS that I can reach out to when I need some advice or a friendly ear!