Academy for Transformational Leadership
While many leadership programs train leaders to be excellent spokespersons for and managers of the status quo, the year-long, four-part TASA Academy for Transformational Leadership is designed for school leaders who are passionate about the transformation of public education in Texas.Photo by Matt Kimball, San Angelo ISD
Who should attend?
The academy is for superintendents and other district and campus leaders who are devoted to:
- nurturing joyous student learning
- creating inspiring workplaces for teachers and all staff, and
- envisioning school districts that are less like factories and more like organizations designed for learning
What is the academy like?
The academy offers a professional development experience specifically tailored for Texas leaders who want to learn more about transforming school districts so that students and district staff, as well as the entire community, realize the benefits of a healthy and vital public education system. These leaders share a vision of what could be for the children of Texas—a vision in keeping with the one articulated by the Public Education Visioning Institute in Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas.
The underlying conceptual base and assumptions about leadership come from the Schlechty Center frameworks and will encompass the six articles developed by the Visioning Institute. TASA established the academy in 2010 in response to superintendents who expressed a strong desire to ensure the continuing transformation of their school districts into learning organizations through the work of future leaders.
What do participants do?
Academy activities, including reading, deepening thinking through structured discussions and activities, exchanging ideas with invited speakers, and applying new ideas in their workplaces, prepare leaders to contribute to the future of public education in their districts. They come to understand what is required to build district capacity for change and for joyous student learning, and to become future-oriented organizational architects who understand social systems and their critical function in shaping public education.
What are the benefits of attending?
By the end of the academy experience, participants have compiled a portfolio reflecting their learning in the following areas:
- commitment to and capability for leading Texas school districts into the future
- artifacts of their individual or collective work pursued in their roles as transformational leaders
- new understandings and strategies for sustaining the direction of their districts and innovative work that supports that direction
- answers for themselves and others to the questions: What are the moral responsibilities of a transformational leader? What must a transformational leader know and be able to do?
Academy facilitators include Schlechty Center Senior Associates John Horn and Nancy Rindone-Doughney, in partnership with TASA. The Schlechty Center is a private, nonprofit organization committed to partnering with school leaders across the country to transform their classrooms, schools, and school districts from places focused on compliance to those focused on engagement.
What Past Participants Say
"The Academy for Transformational Leadership in San Angelo was an unbelievable experience! It allowed us to collaborate with staff from the Schlechty Center, other school districts, and local universities. It also created an opportunity for our team to spend quality time together focused on topics such as student engagement, lesson design, and how to better use technology in our classrooms. As we build capacity, it will be valuable for more of our team to have these experiences. The academy being held in San Angelo makes that much more affordable."
—Ariel Elliott, superintendent, Greenwood ISD
"A major takeaway from the academy was an inspiration to collaborate with others to create strong public schools for all children in Texas. It became clear that we all have a responsibility to work toward transforming educators to become leaders who are compelled to work, care about the organization, and are motivated to truly engage students for greater student achievement beyond the classroom. While we are professors at a higher education institution, the candidates we are preparing could also greatly benefit from what we learned at the academy because of the strategies, tools, resources, and connections that were shared and made during the training. It truly is transformational, and educators who want to make a difference in the lives of children definitely should attend."
—Tia Agan, assistant professor, Angelo State University