Leading in uncharted waters?
Symposium will help school superintendents ‘direct the sails’
December 5, 2022
Superintendents today are leading in uncharted waters — but one professional development event gives them the tools to keep navigating toward their goals.
The 2023 Superintendents’ Symposium will take place Jan. 25-27 in Monterey. The conference will bring together district and county office leaders who have been buffeted by numerous challenges in recent years.
“In the past few years, school superintendents have faced obstacles that were probably unimaginable to many of us before we experienced them,” said Dana Eaton, superintendent of Brentwood Union School District and chair of this year’s Superintendents’ Symposium planning committee. “School districts will never fully return to the pre-pandemic world and that presents many challenges and opportunities for all of us fortunate enough to be superintendents. As we continue to sail into unchartered waters, there is an oft used quote that says, ‘We can’t control the wind, but we can direct the sails.’”
Breakout sessions at the Symposium are grounded in topics superintendents are confronting right now: school safety, equity, curricular push-back, governance in changing times, staffing shortages and funding.
Eaton said the committee is excited to return to Monterey for this annual gathering of hundreds of school superintendents from throughout the state.
“Unless you are or have been a superintendent, it is impossible to fully grasp the challenges and opportunities that exist in the profession,” he said. “It is critical that superintendents take time to come together and learn from each other, build networks, hear from experts, have their perspective challenged and grow together. It is equally important that we come together to celebrate all that has been accomplished and take some time to smile and laugh.”
Superintendents who attend the symposium will gain unique perspectives from two distinguished keynotes:
Nic Stone is the New York Times bestselling author of “Dear Martin” and “Dear Justyce” who is inspiring the next generation of social activists with her vivid and timely novels. In this poignant and illuminating talk, Stone will help attendees tune into the stories of others and unlock their own — giving them the tools to fight for an antiracist society.
Former football player Danny Southwick is a leading thinker on the role of grit and talent in organizations. Beyond creating a culture of committed and authentic resilience, Southwick will explain how organizations need to be aware of the way they talk about grit, how they define success, and specifically, how they use the word talent.
New Superintendents’ Workshop
All first- or second-year superintendents are invited to this workshop that will take place Tuesday and Wednesday prior to Superintendents’ Symposium.
Former ACSA President Ralph Porras has directed this workshop for more than a decade and said it is “essential” for navigating the most critical experiences and challenges that a school superintendent must face as the leader of a school community.
“Often the path of a new superintendent can be a bit daunting and presents unique complexities that are difficult to navigate,” he said. “You are not alone and networking is a vital aspect of successful leadership. This opportunity will provide you with excellent resources and hands-on solutions that can be put to use right away and will assist you in creating invaluable connections with some of the most innovative practitioners, legal partners and advisors in the field today.”
For an additional registration fee ($149 for ACSA members/$249 for non-members), attendees can access this exclusive preconference featuring topics relevant to new superintendents.
Superintendents’ Symposium
What: Professional learning, networking and advocacy specifically geared toward district and county office superintendents. When: Jan. 25-27, 2023 Where: Monterey Conference Center Cost: $800 ACSA members; $1,050 non-members Register: http://bit.ly/supts2023
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