Happiness Is the Greatest Technology
A superintendent improving his district through positive psychology
by Dr. Rod Berger
Aaron Sadoff is a very happy guy. He is also a family man, a veteran, and superintendent of the North Fond du Lac School District in Wisconsin. Aaron isn’t just happy; he’s happy with a purpose. He studied the science of happiness and positive psychology, which became a new discipline when Martin Seligman decided to turn his focus away from why people give up, and instead chose to study why some people have authentic happiness.
Aaron is instilling this culture of authentic happiness into his district. It’s a cultural shift that not only increases productivity and retention of staff but allows for the recruitment of top talent. The newfound attitude translates from faculty and staff to the kids making them better students inside an atmosphere of excited learning.
A lot of what’s being implemented in the district is based on Shawn Achor’s book The Happiness Advantage. In fact, after Aaron read the book, the district painted a wall based on the foundational tenets. Later, Achor came out with a new book, The Orange Frog, a parable based on Positive Psychology.
What started as a natural enthusiasm for life has turned into a district-wide shift in culture that brings positive results into the classroom. It’s an extensively researched phenomenon that is far from a fluke. Other districts might do well to take notice of Aaron and the School District of North Fond du Lac.
For information about The Happiness Advantage, and to get The Happiness Advantage for your district, visit www.ithoughtleader.com.
About Aaron Sadoff:
Aaron Sadoff was born in 1971 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He is a veteran of the United States Army, a graduate of UW-Madison and Marian (Wisconsin) University, and has dedicated 20 years to the field of education as a teacher, principal and superintendent and has a great family.
His passion is developing, leading and sustaining a culture of happiness in the School District of North Fond du Lac so they can recruit, retain and reward a world-class staff while working to prepare all students to be career, college, and life ready. He believes the School District of North Fond du Lac is an example of how the science of happiness and positive psychology can revolutionize the way that organizations are working to best impact success of students, staff and the community.
Two of his biggest out of school, non-family accomplishment are holding the local Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin’ Challenge for almost a year, eating 12 of the hottest wings in two minutes and 15 seconds; and caddying for President George H. W. Bush.