School Leaders and Social Media

By Lawrence Hardy

It took some convincing, but once Rena Philips assured her boss, Martha Peek, that a tweeting school superintendent was just what Alabama’s Mobile County Public Schools needed ... well, there was no stopping “SuperPeek.”

On the first day of school, “I got on Twitter,” says Philips, the district’s marketing director. “She had already started tweeting at 4:30 in the morning.”

Now, practically everywhere “SuperPeek” goes (that’s Peek’s Twitter name) -- a band concert, academic awards ceremony, football game -- the longtime Alabama educator is making the case that Mobile is a great place to get an education.

“I’m going to tweet you,” the silver-haired superintendent told some high school students after talking with them that first day back in August.

After she left, Philips approached the teens and asked: “Do you have any idea who that was?”

No, they did not.

“That was the superintendent.”

“Cool.”

Actually, way cool -- and a refreshing break from the past.

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