Quotes from Reviews and Commentary

The updated and improved EntryPlan methodology presented in the EntryPlan Approach book was highly praised in the two books it replaces, the original Entry book and the EntryPlan Handbook.

  • "Entry has been a valuable tool for over 25 years. The new edition is a welcome addition to the literature on entering leadership positions in the education sector. I will add it to the list of required readings for my students in the Urban Superintendents Program and recommend it to new and aspiring leaders, as I have in the past. Well done!" Robert S. Peterkin, Francis Keppel Professor of Educational Policy and Administration, Director, Urban Superintendents Program, Harvard Graduate School of Education

  • “…the EntryPlan methodology arms new hires with knowledge they would have otherwise learned only after months – if not years—in their new positions.” Beverly L. Hall, Superintendent, Atlanta Public Schools, GA

  • “Entry is a jewel of a resource. Not only did I have a wonderful personal experience with the entryplan approach but also I make it a prerequisite for all my new administrators upon entering my district. To the person, each has commented that they found the entryplan approach a key to their successful beginning.” Judith Hart Howard, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools, Niagara Wheatfield C.S.D., Niagara Falls, NY

  • “Our district has found The EntryPlan HandBook enormously helpful to every administrator moving into a new position, as well as to those of us responsible for providing support.” James H. Lytle, Superintendent of Schools, Trenton, NJ

  • “In my work preparing educators to be principals and superintendents… …I always recommend they read and use… Entry. I tell them that it is one of the best books on taking a new administrative position in a public school." Harris Sokoloff, Center for School Study Councils, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

  • "I had the good fortune to read the Entry book almost twenty years ago, and have re-read it at least half a dozen times since, especially in those few months before I began each of my last three jobs--one as a high school principal and in two different public school superintendencies. Because of the value it has had for me personally, I have given the Entry book to every new administrator I have hired in the last fifteen years (I always have at least a half dozen copies on a shelf in my office), and have used it often in graduate education administration courses I have taught. It is, without question, the very finest treatment of how to get off to a successful start in a new position...." Bruce L. Dennis, Head of School, Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn, NY

  • “I believe the EntryPlan Handbook will resonate with leaders around the country in a range of fields/careers. I urge you to broaden your marketing of the EntryPlan Handbook, which in turn will spread the word about your indispensable first book – Entry." E. Wayne Harris, Formerly Superintendent of Schools in Roanoke, VA

  • “As Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent, I train our administrative interns. The Brockton School System has a formal program. Over the years, I have loaned the Entry book to so many of the interns that it is now in pieces… …it has a timeless message for aspiring administrators.” Cynthia McNally, Brockton Public Schools, Brockton, MA

  • “I have great fondness for the EntryPlan approach. Taking charge of entry was a lifesaver for me, especially since my first superintendency was a new role for me in an unfamiliar community. I also used the approach in my second superintendency, where I knew the role, and it was still powerful." Connie Goldman, Formerly Superintendent of Schools in Gorham and in Cape Elizabeth, ME

  • “Finding the Entry book and EntryPlan Handbook was a blessing in multiple ways. Both of us used the books successfully in preparing to enter the Principal Candidate Processes in Ontario (Lindsay was appointed vice principal, and I am pending). Once appointed, Lindsey used the books to create her own EntryPLan, which she has used successfully. And, we feel that the books would be ideal for useful professional development for any educational staff serious about promoting leadership!" Lindsay Williams, Vice Principal, Orchard Park Secondary School, Stoney Creek, Ontario; Patrick Elliott, Assistant Head of Science/Student Success Lead Teacher, Orchard Park Secondary School, Ontario

  • “…why I find the Entry book credible is its acceptance of the fundamental paradox of all leadership and authority—indeed, all human action. This paradox is hinted at in the tension between the words "structured collaborative inquiry." The word structured implies a pre-formulated process, whereas the words collaboration and inquiry imply processes for creating or discovering forms… …This book provides concrete illustrations which make the paradox and the magic of genuine leadership less mysterious.” From a “Foreword” to Entry by William R. Torbert, Professor, Graduate School of Management at Boston College

  • “With great success, I have used an EntryPlan approach to begin two principalships. I give the approach my highest recommendation! Prior to learning about the EntryPlan approach, my thinking about entry was limited to how I would meet and greet my faculty, students, and community. I planned to take a wait and see attitude, where I was a learner, and all would turn out well because I listened and learned. The Entry book jolted me by asking: Ask what questions? To learn what? What do you need to know to succeed? If you can get important information, how do you use it, and to what end? These are only some of the questions that made me realize that my approach was haphazard, where an EntryPlan orchestrates identifying what we want to know, how to get the information, and what to do with it to build a platform for trust and credibility for success." Robyn Lane, Principal of the Quaker Ridge School, Scarsdale, NY

  • “What came as a complete surprise—indeed a shock, was that this book is a social psychology of the entry process! In the course of reading this book, I came to understand it as a book about theory as well as a book filled with helpful designs for practitioners. Even more importantly, it is a book filled with theory as practiced, not just as espoused (to use the distinction provided by Argyris and Schon, 1974)." From the “Afterword” to the Original Entry book, by Dale G. Lake, author of Perceiving and Behaving (Teachers College Press, 1970) and Measuring Human Behavior: Assessment of Social Functioning (Teachers College Press, 1972), with M.B. Miles and R. Earle

  • “Convinced of the usefulness of an EntryPlan by my own use of the EntryPlan approach for headships at the Cambridge School of Weston, Weston, MA and the Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco, CA, I present it each summer at the NAIS Institute For New Heads. Immediately, most of the new heads have an "aha" experience and speak of the relief they feel because Entry offers a practical solution to the conundrum with which they are struggling: how to start, and particularly, how to balance the need to listen and learn with the need to assert strong leadership. More importantly, most report at the year-end reunion that their EntryPlans produced just the results they had hoped for.” From “Entry: The Door to Effective Headship” by Al Adams, 1996, Headmaster, Lick-Wilmerding High School, San Francisco, CA

The EntryPlan methodology was presented in a Phi Delta Kappan article (June 2005) titled "Starting Confused" by Barry Jentz and Jerome Murphy, where it received rave reviews, as illustrated below:

  • “Recently, I was given ‘Starting Confused’ by Barry Jentz and Jerome Murphy…in which they discuss the intricacies of creating a successful plan for an administrator’s first year on the job. I began my first superintendency just this August, and the article had such an impact on me that I have already shared it with my new leadership team and school board as a way to help break me in. This is the stuff we educators need in order to be successful. Thanks for publishing it.” John Kuhn, Superintendent, Columbia Local Schools, Columbia Station, OH (Phi Delta Kappan, Backtalk, 2005)

  • “…This article should be more than a quick read; it should be a valued resource we return to periodically to refresh ourselves about good educational and administrative practice…” Judith R. Fox, Head, Princeton Day School, Princeton, NJ  (Phi Delta Kappan, Backtalk, 2005)

  • “As a young professional who recently moved into a new leadership position on a university campus, I would like to thank you for publishing ‘Starting Confused’ by Barry Jentz and Jerome Murphy.  …Their advice on how to move into leadership positions is practical and valuable.  …I would welcome hearing more advice from Mr. Jentz and Mr. Murphy on entering educational leadership positions.  And while it may be too late for many readers to embrace their confusion when they begin a job, it’s never too late to adopt many of the helpful suggestions given by these authors.” Joy Pedersen, San Luis Obispo, CA  (Phi Delta Kappan, Backtalk, 2005)

  • “Barry Jentz and Jerome Murphy (‘Starting Confused’) have done a real service to those taking new positions in schools or school systems.  I meet with new heads of independent schools each year and will be sharing a copy of this article with them.  I appreciate having such helpful information.” Peggy Davis, Assistant Director, Association of Independent Schools in New England, Braintree, MA (Phi Delta Kappan, Backtalk, 2005)

  • “I would just like to let you know how fitting this article by Jentz and Murphy has been for me as I prepare for my new role as principal.  I appreciate how forthright both authors are about the challenge of ‘beginning.’  They truly understand the complexities and issues of leadership transition in an organization.” Susan Marinucci, Principal, Glendale Elementary School, Calgary, Alberta (Phi Delta Kappan, Backtalk, 2005)

  • “It was my pleasure to read ‘Embracing Confusion...’ and ‘Starting Confused...’ by Barry Jentz and Jerome Murphy recently published by Phi Delta Kappan.  I learned to do an Entry Plan in August 1985 while beginning as Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Bedford, New York.  Subsequently, I served for 12 years as Superintendent of Schools in suburban Upper Saddle River, New Jersey and the last 2 years as Superintendent of a large urban school district, Orange, New Jersey.  Jentz and Murphy offer in their articles the rare combination of practical solutions based on elegant organizational theory and grounded in research. At this point in my nearly 30-year career as a school district leader, I am absolutely convinced of the power of their message.  If only school leaders followed their advice, leaders would not be continuously failing.  It goes without saying that student achievement, the basis of all school leadership, would also be higher nationwide as well.” Nathan Parker, Superintendent, Orange Public Schools, NJ

  • “The Reflective Inquiry and Action (RIA) methodology explained in ‘Starting Confused,’ by Barry Jentz and Jerome Murphy (June), has great potential benefits for new leaders starting out in the upper echelons of educational administration.  New leaders have to recognize that institutions have their own individual cultures.  Leaders who assume their new positions with the spurious belief that they are there to make changes or who see their new positions as opportunities to impose their own values while ignoring pre-existing values, beliefs, visions, and behaviors are likely to fail…” Mark Cobbina Malangko, Santa Maria, CA (Phi Delta Kappan, Backtalk, 2005)

  • “I read ‘Starting Confused’ by Barry Jentz and Jerome Murphy (June) at just the right time:  On July 1, I started a new position as a principal… What struck me about the article was how easy it is to get caught up in having the ‘solution’ to a problem when you are in charge.  To admit that you don’t, when folks are looking to you for answers, is unsettling – especially in a school setting.  As I meet with my staff individually and they tell me about problems that have existed for a long time, I’ve been asking, ‘So is that the real issue for the school?’ When more information is forthcoming, I ask, ‘How do you think we as a community can work on it?’  Often the staff member will look at me with an expression that says, ‘You’re asking me?’  And I tell them that these complicated and murky issues are confusing to all of us, but together we can sort them out.” Jane Manzelli, Principal, Morse Pond School, Falmouth, MA (Phi Delta Kappan, Backtalk, 2005)


© 2009 Leadership and Learning, Inc.