The third session of the National Superintendents Academy session took place on November 18th and 19th in Chicago focusing on four themes:
– The Superintendent and Student Safety
– Best practice in district communications, including using social media
– Political mapping as a tool for coalition-building
– The Superintendent Interview Process and the Superintendent’s Contract
We began the session with a presentation by Special Agent James Buck of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Special Agent Buck’s presentation was informative and startling. While technology has made the access to information ubiquitous it also has added a slew of potential challenges to students lives. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has a number of programs and resources that are available to school districts to better educate students, their families and staff members.
Chris Horan, the former Chief of Communications for Boston Public Schools, led the class in a discussion of effective internal, external and crisis communications. Chris shared tips to develop a messaging framework and using the framework to tell your district’s story. To do this, Superintendent’s today must not rely on traditional media alone to tell their story.
Steve Murley, the Superintendent of the Iowa City Community School District shared with the class how to develop political maps. Political mapping is the process of identifying those who will have an interest in your agenda, and determining the significance of their potential impact on your agenda, and then making a strategic decision whether you are going to:
After learning how to develop a political map, class members developed one for a pressing issue in their school district. The highlight of the session was our Mock Interview session where we split the cohort into groups that represented School Board members and had each class member go through an interview process similar to what they would go through during a real district interview. Faculty members act as the School Board Chair leading the process and the interviewees were able to get real-time feedback on their interviewing skills and resume writing.
We had a professional photographer on site to supply cohort members with an updated head shot for their portfolio. After the Mock Interviews were completed, Atlantic Research Partners’ Chairman, David Sundstrom joined us to review the Superintendent Contract Negotiation process.
Our next session is December 9th and 10th .
Our 2nd National Superintendents Academy session met October 14th+15th in Chicago with topics surrounding vision, mission, and goal setting along with best practices in governance. Dr. Peter Gorman, our Managing Director of Academies served as our Master Teacher along side former Sacramento City USD Superintendent, Dr. Jonthan Raymond. Dr. Gorman led discussions surrounding goal setting, strength/weakness analysis, and governance to name a few to kick off our first day. We closed the day with a Superintendent Practitioner with fellow graduate, Mary Havis. Here you can see a picture of Dr. Gorman facilitating a discussion with Mary regarding ‘Entering the Superintendency’. Mary has recently been appointed as the Superintendent of District 100 in Illinois, and was able to her journey from teacher all the way up to Superintendent which resonated very closely with the cohort.
Each session we randomly choose cohort members to present their ‘Leadership Story’ to the group. Your leadership story is an invaluable component that you will be able to keep with you over the course of your educational journey. Our cohort will be given the tools and strength to present each of theirs when the time comes. This session, Tyler Ream of Spring Branch ISD (TX) and Vivian Green of West Palm Beach (FL) were just 2 of the cohort members chosen to share their stories with the group.
Dr. Raymond kicked off the 2nd day of our October session discussing a systems approach in leading a learning organization through the works of Peter Senge. The cohort was able to work in small groups in developing conceptual frameworks of what a sustainable district would look like. Dr. Jim Hager and Dr. Raymond joined our ‘Superintendent Discussion’ surrounding Effective Strategies to Manage Politics for Success in the Superintendency. Dr. Gorman assisted in facilitating and also opened up the discussion to a Q&A from the cohort. To close our October session, Dr. Hager took a deep dive into what a Superintendent search looks like and was able to share a best practices approach when the administrators take on the task of applying to their first Superintendent position.
Next Session: November 18+19!
Our inaugural National Superintendents Academy cohort met September 16th+17th in Chicago with participants coming from across the country including Colorado, New York, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida to name a few. The cohort covered several topics over the 2-Day session including ‘Peak Performing Leadership’ and ‘Great 360-Degree School District Leaders’. Dr. Vincent Matthews joined us for our first session as a Master Teacher along with Dr. Peter Gorman. Dr. Matthews is currently the State Administrator for Inglewood USD, and former Superintendent of San Jose USD.
Serving as our Managing Director of Academies and our lead Master Teacher, Dr. Gorman facilitated our Superintendent Panel for this session that highlighted Dr. Michael Bregy of North Shore District 112 and Dr. Johnnie Thomas of District 155. The panel discussed topics including entering the Superintendency, working with your board, and showed many adversities a growing Superintendent goes through. The panel closed with a Q&A portion that always highly engaging with the cohort.
Dr. Joseph Wise, Co-Founder & CEO of Atlantic Research Partners wrapped up our session discussing ‘The Superintendent Search Process’. Dr. Wise mapped out the entire search process step-by-step, specifically touching on search firm practices and protocols as well as what to look for throughout the interview process with a perspective district. The cohort was able to network with one another as well as the teachers and Superintendents. We are looking forward to getting everyone back in October.