“How do we build school cultures where young people want to be you?” That was just one of the questions New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Lester Young posed to a group of The Leadership Academy’s alumni and partners, including past and present principals, superintendents, and district administrators. The special conversation, co-facilitated by Lead Executive Officer Nancy Gutiérrez, allowed a small group of educators who have participated in The Leadership Academy’s aspiring principal work, coaching, and other leadership development programs to share their perspectives with Chancellor Young.

The lively, 90-minute discussion focused on identifying sustainable ways to strengthen a diverse teacher and leadership pipeline, defining what world-class education leadership looks like, and the critical importance of supporting education leaders through professional learning and development. The evening allowed participants to give voice to the power of professional learning cohorts, the diverse pathways that can lead to leadership roles, and the special importance of supporting leaders of color.

A former teacher, counselor, principal, and superintendent with more than 50-years of education experience, Chancellor Young is also the first Black person to lead the New York State Education Department’s Board of Regents in its 240-year history. He spoke of the essential need for all leaders to be vigilant about high academic expectations for students of all backgrounds, and solicited ideas from educators around the recruitment and retention of diverse leaders.

In addition to the interactive conversation, the evening also included time for connection and networking preceding the event.

Alumni of The Leadership Academy’s aspiring principals, coaching, and other leadership development programs with Chancellor Young and Lead Executive Officer Nancy Gutiérrez

Chancellor Young and participants share perspectives

Chancellor Young with alumna of The Leadership Academy’s coaching, New York City Public Schools Superintendent Hoa Tu