Who: Jack Leonard
Company: Dorchester High School
Has held title for: 13 months
Previous title: Assistant headmaster for curriculum
Sure sounds like the new economy: Manage 1,000 unruly people and enjoy perks like a free gym, a kitchen, a shower room, and dances on Friday nights. As chief academic officer at Dorchester High, in a working-class suburb of Boston, Jack Leonard works with 100 teachers, overseeing the curriculum and instruction of 920 students. Leonard says he spends a lot of time answering questions — many, many questions. "You have to be comfortable with a lot of interruptions," he says.
What's on your agenda?
Since I've come on board, we've doubled the amount of instruction for math and English, and we've hired a literacy specialist.
Are you more like Larry Ellison or Jack Welch?
Well, both. I'm inclined to be a command-and-control type, but I've learned that in order to survive, delegation is key.
How are you at board meetings?
To be honest, they're a lot of work without much fruit. But having this title does have its advantages. I can call up the superintendant at any time, and he actually listens to what I have to say.
What's another perk of the job?
I have a nice office with my own bathroom. Let me tell you, in a school this large, that's definitely a good thing.
A version of this article appeared in the September 2001 issue of Fast Company magazine.