The NYC Leadership Academy will share its research-based educational leadership strategies for leading districts for equity, coaching, and foundational skills for principal supervisors at AASA’s National Conference on Education on Feb. 14 and 15.

Also at the conference, Leadership Academy Superintendent-in-Residence Valeria Silva, former superintendent of St. Paul Public Schools in Minnesota, will receive AASA’s Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award. The award honors Effie H. Jones, a school administrator, teacher, counselor, organizer of the Office of Minority Affairs at AASA, and a champion of women and minorities in educational leadership. AASA credits Jones for its sharp focus on equity, superintendent pipeline issues, and vulnerable children and youth.

“Valeria was a warrior in St. Paul’s efforts to create access to opportunities for each child,” Leadership Academy President & CEO Irma Zardoya said. “She continues to work with districts around the country to lead in ways that will close educational gaps. This recognition is hard-earned and well-deserved.”

Leadership Academy conference sessions

Building Your Own Leadership Capacity: Key Ideas from Executive Coaching. In this roundtable discussion, the Leadership Academy’s Associate Vice President for Executive Coaching Francis Yasharian will discuss our components of effective executive coaching to develop leadership capacity, systems thinking skills, and equitable practice in service of district priorities. Participants will engage in a reflection exercise that is representative of the practice and consider what conditions must be present in a district to take advantage of this professional learning model. (Thursday, Feb. 15, 9 and 9:30, Table 3)

Using Web-Based Simulations to Develop Key Behaviors for Advancing Equity. Led by Leadership Academy Chief Strategy Officer Nancy Gutiérrez, this session will offer a safe and supportive space for district leaders to use an online simulation to explore their personal values and beliefs on equity and to think critically about the leadership moves they might make to address disparities in their districts. Participants will be able to assess their skill sets and approaches to supporting students who are often marginalized in schools by 1) examining five key leadership dispositions related to leading for equity; 2) practicing the dispositions through a highly interactive, web-based leadership simulation that places the user in everyday situations that impact equity and access; and 3) reflecting on the choices they made. After participants try the simulation, Gutiérrez will discuss how they can use it in their home districts. Participants must bring laptops to fully engage. (Thursday, Feb. 15, 9 and 9:30, Roundtable 4)

District Strategies to Advance Equity and Access. Leadership Academy President & CEO Irma Zardoya will moderate a conversation among three superintendents on how they promote equity and access in their districts. Learn what bold leadership moves they have used to integrate this critical work into system-level initiatives aimed at improving student outcomes, and the impact those moves have had. Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams of the Rochester City School District, Superintendent Roberto Padilla of Newburgh Enlarged City School District, and Superintendent Wendy Robinson of Fort Wayne Community Schools (a finalist for superintendent of the year) will discuss their equity goals and areas of focus, strategies implemented, challenges encountered, and leading indicators of success. (Friday, 12:45 – 1:45, room 203.)

Principal Supervision: Sharpening the Focus in Order to Improve Instruction. What do principal supervisors need to know and be able to do to help schools improve instruction and student learning? A superintendent and assistant superintendent share how they have been able to deepen conversations about classroom instruction between central office and school leaders, and in turn between principals and teachers, by deepening their own understanding of the Principal Supervisor Standards. Through the Leadership Academy’s Foundations of Principal Supervision program, leaders in the Haysville Unified School District 261 in Kansas learned to use and apply tools and activities in their districts that have resulted in improved student learning. Presenters: John Burke, Superintendent, Haysville Unified School District 261, Haysville, KS; Nancy Gutiérrez, Chief Strategy Officer, NYC Leadership Academy; and Teresa Tosh, Assistant Superintendent for Learning Services, Haysville Unified School District 261. (Friday, 12:45 – 1:15, Table 7)


Contact: Jill Grossman