Message from The Superintendent

Getting to Know Leola

Domenic Paolo, Superintendent

Domenic Paolo, PhD


Leola Schools

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(605) 439-3477

Hello Leola Family

I want to thank you all for the wonderful introduction and the warm welcome that has been extended from the entire Leola School Community. I am honored that you chose to allow me to serve as your superintendent.

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Fun at the Sportsman's Club

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

I have had the great fortune of meeting and working with some true luminaries in the field of education. Any progress I have made, has been directly attributable to fantastic insights they each shared with me and the trails they've blazed.

Howard Gardner

I met Dr. Gardener while doing my post-doctoral work at Harvard Graduate School of Education. By then I was very familiar with his work in the field of Multiple Intelligences. This theory of multiple intelligences was first presented in the book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Dr. Gardner’s theory inspired teachers, school leaders, and special educators to embrace the notion that there are many ways to be intelligent. I consider his work to be the foundation upon which the majority of my own work has been built.

Tony Wagner

While studying at Harvard I also met Dr. Tony Wagner. He had just returned from a trip to Finland where he conducted extensive investigations into the phenomenal success of Finish students on national tests of academic aptitude such as the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Assessment (TIMMS).

In Finland there are no standardized tests. In fact, there is really very little testing at all. Finnish teachers are not monitored or rated based on test scores, and teachers (as well as their students) have a great deal of autonomy. It is a system built on trust rather than faux accountability and it leads to real results.

Rick and Becky DuFour

Rick and Becky Dufour were extraordinarily successful in the implementation of Professional Learning Communities to foster school improvement that generated incredible growth within the entire community.

Dr. Stiggins

Dr. Rick Stiggins was the first person I met who seemed to truly understand the power of assessment when it was used as a tool for learning. We are all too accustomed to tests that are used to evaluate, rank, rate, or otherwise sort our students. The best use of assessment is when it is used to strengthen understanding and inform instruction.

Bill Daggett

Bill Daggett is well known for his rigor and relevance framework. The basic premise is that students can sustain incredible levels of rigorous work when they see the work as relevant. More frequently witnessed in the field of athletics, the connection between rigor and relevance can be harnessed for academic gains as well.

Jim Rickabaugh

Dr. Jim Rickabaugh is currently serving as the Senior Advisor to the Institute for Personalized Learning. He previously served as its director. He has been named superintendent of the year in the states of Minesota and Wisconsin. His book; Tapping the Power of Personalized Learning, has had a profound impact on many school ditricts because of the way it serves as a roadmap for school districts wishing to develop curriculum around the talents and interests of its students.

Marzano and me

Dr. Robert Marzano is well known for the identification of the high yeild instructional strategies instructional strategies likely to improve student achievement across all grade levels and subject areas: Identifying similarities and differences. Summarizing and note taking. Reinforcing effort and providing recognition. Homework and practice. Non-linguistic representations. Cooperative learning. Setting objectives and providing feedback. Generating and testing hypotheses. Cues, questions, and advance organizers.