Don’t navigate these times alone

July 13, 2020
If you are a first- or second-year superintendent, New Superintendents Seminar Series is the only ACSA professional development designed specifically for you. In these unprecedented times, the new superintendent cannot and should not navigate them alone. Former successful superintendents and directors of the New Superintendents Seminar Series, Trudy Arriaga and Bob Fraisse, fully understand the complexity of the position and the need to have targeted, professional development in a confidential cohort setting. This professional learning series has successfully assisted first- and second-year superintendents for the past 21 years.   “I can’t imagine doing this job without the support and resources afforded by NSSS,” said Jamie Robles, superintendent of Parlier Unified School District, who attended the series last year. “NSSS has been an invaluable resource and experience for me as I learn how to be the superintendent my students, staff and community deserve.” Participants will have the opportunity to connect and form lasting relationships with new superintendents throughout the state. This confidential forum allows all new superintendents to learn, share and move forward with confidence in their leadership role. Successful current and retired superintendents will lead discussion in their areas of expertise and share their wisdom and knowledge of this unique position. Participants will leave with contact information for these superintendents should they need their expertise as challenges and opportunities arise throughout the year.   “This job can be a bit isolated, and having others who are going through nearly the same experience is incredibly helpful,” said Tiffany Morse, superintendent of Ojai Unified School District. “I would not have been able to connect with a statewide network of peers without this program.”   Topics for the sessions will be specific to the unique challenges of these unprecedented times, including: 
  • Collective bargaining
  • Negotiations
  • Board/superintendent relations
  • Board governance 
  • Virtual learning
  • Superintendent contract
  • Evaluation
  • Values and ethics 
  • Marketing and branding 
  • Emergency procedures 
  • Budget development
  • Cultural proficiency 
  • Community relations 
  • Balance and the role of the superintendent in LCAP/LCFF/PLCs 
  • Program development 
  • Digital literacy  
Time is devoted in each session to confidentially discuss the current issues in each superintendent’s district to ensure that they return to their districts with skills, tools and strategies for success.  NSSS directors have strategically planned the 2020-21 schedule to ensure that meetings are accessible to all superintendents and held in locations with easy access regardless of district location. Should it be necessary to alter the schedule to a virtual format, NSSS directors are prepared to do so. The January meeting has been scheduled as a one-day pre-conference to coincide with the Superintendents’ Symposium in Monterey to facilitate attendance of this crucial professional development event.  

“The instant network of colleagues ensured the support I needed to navigate the complexities of the job. They say the superintendent’s job is lonely — not if you join NSSS!”
— Dave Ostash, Superintendent, Sierra Sands USD
“It can be difficult to sift through and prioritize all of the professional development options and academies that are available to new superintendents,” said David Feliciano, superintendent of La Mesa-Spring Valley School District. “Of all the options available to me, NSSS was exactly what I needed. The content was particularly relevant to my work and it was wonderful to collaborate with an amazing group of people, all facing similar challenges.” “Being a part of NSSS made the difference during my first year as superintendent,” added Dave Ostash, superintendent of the Sierra Sands Unified School District. “The instant network of colleagues ensured the support I needed to navigate the complexities of the job. They say the superintendent’s job is lonely — not if you join NSSS!” The role of the superintendent increases in complexity every year. This upcoming year will be one of the most challenging, yet rewarding times to be a new superintendent. The New Superintendents Seminar Series provides the professional development and support to help every new superintendent, whether from a large or small school district, thrive and be successful.  “We are leading though an unprecedented time and I value the relationships I was able to build because of NSSS,” said Trenae Nelson, superintendent of Apple Valley Unified School District. “I know I will continue to tap into their expertise and willingness to share.” New Superintendents Seminar Series What: Professional development series for first- and second-year superintendents When: Three in-person sessions and six virtual sessions beginning Sept. 11-12 in Sacramento.* For complete schedule, please go online. Cost: $1,900 ACSA members, $1,500 if registered before Sept. 1; $899 for second-year/returning ACSA members Info:, or contact Trudy Arriaga at or Bob Fraisse at for more information. * Sessions may be shifted to virtual learning based on COVID-related factors.  

New Superintendents Seminar Series is designed to meet the current needs of education leaders

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