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Shelley Berman, of Eugene, Ore., is superintendent of the Eugene Public Schools and previously worked as superintendent in Jefferson County, Ky., and Hudson, Mass. He is a board member and past president of Educators for Social Responsibility and author of Children’s Social Consciousness and Promising Practices in Teaching Social Responsibility. Berman is the 2011 recipient of the Sanford N. McDonnell Award for Lifetime Achievement in Character Education.
Roy Dexheimer, of Ithaca, N.Y., served for nearly two decades as district superintendent of the Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga BOCES and later worked as vice president for institutional advancement at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He also served another two decades as superintendent in a small upstate city school district and several rural districts. Dexheimer is a former school board president of the Ithaca City School District. He wrote his doctoral dissertation at University of Rochester on ethics in the superintendency.
Joan McRobbie, of San Francisco, Calif., is senior associate for national school reform with the Community Training and Assistance Center. Previously she served as chief of staff and ethics officer in the San Diego Unified School District and held senior policy and communications positions at WestEd, focused on issues of urban school systems and their leadership.
Paula Mirk, of Rockport, Maine, is director of education with the Institute for Global Ethics, which she joined in 1996. She has headed various research efforts, including the Schools of Integrity project and the Ethical Literacy Learning Community. She had a variety of teaching experiences prior to joining the institute, including adult immigrant populations, business leaders and public school students. Her work in ethics has taken her into hundreds of schools across the country.
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The Ethical Educator column presents a real dilemma in school leadership. The panelists are Shelley Berman, superintendent, Eugene, Ore.; Roy Dexheimer, retired BOCES superintendent, Ithaca, N.Y.; Joan McRobbie, senior associate, National School Reform at Community Training and Assistance Center, San Francisco, Calif.; and Paula Mirk, director of education, Institute for Global Ethics, Rockport, Maine. Abbreviated answers are published in School Administrator magazine.