Redlands Portrait of Success: Gail Kushner ’77 & ’87
Vision. Inspiration. Patience. Persistence. All required skills whether you’re creating stained glass or guiding a student’s education.
Seeing through the qualities of leadership
Gail Kushner is the Superintendent of Milton and Wakefield School Districts in New Hampshire. She’s also a craftsperson who excels in stained glass creations. Gail sees profound similarities between her hobby and her occupation.
"What's good about stained glass is it's similar to the way you lead," she said in an interview with the Foster’s Daily Democrat. “Both require vision, inspiration, input from others, patience and persistence.”
After earning her MA in Counseling from the University of Redlands, Gail worked in the nearby Yucaipa School District, where she taught students in kindergarten through third grade. She next worked as a guidance counselor at a middle school in California until she returned to her hometown state of New Hampshire.
Crafting one relationship at a time
In 2009, Gail was appointed to the helm of two school districts in New Hampshire. With a patience practiced at the stained glass table, her first year as superintendent was spent listening, one of the most important hallmarks of a gifted educator. She solicited the perspectives of members of the two school boards, the two chairs of the budget committees, the SAU staff, principals, union representatives, logistical and even transportation officials in order to build relationships within the two districts, according to the interview in Foster’s Daily Democrat.