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Association of California School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators
New superintendents — start here
ACSA’s NSSS is the only PD offering just for first- and second-year supts
June 28, 2021
In these unprecedented times, the new superintendent cannot and should not navigate alone. Former successful superintendents and directors of the New Superintendents’ Seminar Series, Trudy Arriaga and Bob Fraisse, fully understand the complexity of the superintendent position and the need to have targeted, professional development in a confidential cohort setting for newly appointed superintendents. This professional learning series has successfully assisted first- and second-year superintendents for the past 25 years.
New superintendents will benefit from a variety of collaborative sessions during the 2021-22 year. Participants will have the opportunity to connect and form lasting relationships with new superintendents throughout the state. This confidential forum allows 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 knowledge of this unique position — and participants are guaranteed to receive their contact information should you need someone to call when challenges and opportunities arise.
Topics for the sessions will be specific to the unique challenges of these unprecedented times and will include:
  • Collective bargaining
  • Negotiations
  • Board/superintendent relations
  • Board governance
  • Virtual learning
  • Superintendent contract
  • Evaluation, values and ethics
  • Marketing and branding
  • Building a strong cabinet
  • Emergency procedures
  • Budget development
  • Cultural proficiency
  • Community relations
  • Balance and the role of the superintendent in LCAP and LCFF
  • Professional Learning Communities
  • Program development
  • Digital literacy
Time is devoted in each session to confidentially discuss the current issues in your districts to ensure that you return with skills, tools and strategies for success.
NSSS has strategically planned the 2021-22 schedule to ensure meetings are accessible to all superintendents. The January meeting will be a one-day pre-conference to the Superintendents’ Symposium in Indian Wells to facilitate attending this crucial event.
The following testimonies from 2020-21 participants in NSSS are the true evidence that this is an essential investment for the new superintendent.
Antonio Garcia, Santa Maria Joint Union High School District: “My first year and a half as a superintendent was a tremendously amazing and complex learning experience. Having the consistent, timely and targeted guidance of experienced superintendents, as well as other experts in the field, provided me with the tools and insight needed to better navigate this transition. Being able to participate in this shared opportunity with other colleagues also new to the position facilitated yet another valuable network of support. I am grateful to ACSA for making NSSS relevant and accessible specifically for the first- and second-year superintendents.”
Tom McCoy, Oxnard Union High School District: “NSSS created a lifeline and a peer network as I navigated becoming a new superintendent during the pandemic. The exchange of ideas, perspectives, and solutions in our group was valuable, enlightening and affirming. Also critical were the voices of experienced superintendents. The lessons they learned and shared with us made a significant difference in my day-to-day efforts to support students.”
Holly Edds, Orcutt Union School District: “NSSS provided a safe space for me to connect with colleagues around issues we faced this year as a district and issues I faced as a first-year superintendent. I appreciated the informative and inspirational speakers, and have already connected with a speaker who has mentored me over the past few months. Trudy and Bob have been incredible mentors and assembled a high-quality program with countless resources I continue to use in multiple situations.”
Lois Peterson, Vista del Mar Union School District: “The time was so valuable to take part in all the sessions with first-year superintendents based on relevant topics that were scheduled throughout the year. We were so fortunate at each session to have expert speakers in the field supporting all the roles and responsibilities. Purposeful and engaging with takeaways from each and every session.”
The role of the superintendent increases in complexity every year. This upcoming year, as we create a new normal, 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 the support designed so that every new superintendent, large or small school district, can thrive and be successful!
New Superintendents’ Seminar Series
What: The only professional development series specifically designed for the first- and second-year superintendent. When: Five sessions throughout the year; orientation Aug. 13 (see below) Where: In person* Cost: $1,500 early bird (ends Aug. 31) Register: Proposed sessions* August 13: Virtual Orientation and Overview Sept. 10-11: ACSA Sacramento Office Nov. 19-20: ACSA Sacramento Office Jan. 25- 26: Indian Wells (pre-conference prior to Supts. Symposium), March 4-5: ACSA Sacramento Office May 13-14: ACSA Sacramento Office
For registration assistance, contact Jazmine Dawson at Contact co-chairs Trudy Arriaga ( or Bob Fraisse ( for more information: “We look forward to supporting you as first-year superintendents!”
*Sessions will be adjusted to virtual if needed.
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