California educational leaders can network with their colleagues from across the country during an upcoming conference focusing on women in school leadership.
Sponsored by ACSA and the American Association of School Administrators, the 2012 Women in School Leadership Forum will be held Sept. 27-28 in Newport Beach.
The forum is the premier networking and educational experience designed to engage, enlighten and empower women school system leaders from across the country. Focused on leadership excellence, this forum will help female leaders build skills, share solutions, strengthen professional networks and sharpen career planning.
During this conference, participants will be inspired by stories of great accomplishment while renewing their passion for public education; learn to apply successful business principles to their ultimate advantage; strengthen their support network through dialogue with other school system leaders and advance their career goals with résumé review and one-on-one coaching sessions.
Sharon Robison, ACSA’s Leading the Leaders coordinator, said attending the Women’s Leadership Forum is a unique opportunity to interact with colleagues from around the nation. She said it is enlightening to see what similarities as well as differences administrators face in a variety of settings and in other states.
“At times, being a school administrator seems very isolating,” Robison said. “That may be especially true for women administrators. It is healthy for all in leadership positions to build a set of colleagues and networks that support the work that you are doing as well as provide for personal connections that enhance your life. It is also critical that administrators keep abreast of the current research and best practices in teaching, learning and school administration.”
Jeanne Yamamoto, team leader at ACSA’s Principal’s Summer Institute, said one thing she hears over and over is that many times it is not what you know but who you know. At ACSA’s professional learning events, school leaders can meet colleagues from all across the state and share their concerns, questions and problems. The opportunity to meet and talk with others in the same profession helps leaders find solutions and improve their work.
“The national conference offers an even broader opportunity for them to meet, network and exchange ideas,” Yamamoto said.
ACSA Region Consultant Pat Einfalt attended last year’s Women’s Leadership Forum, and said she found the event both stimulating and comforting. She was stimulated by the knowledgeable and dynamic speakers in the workshops and general sessions and comforted by the renewed realization that women leaders are all dealing with common issues and challenges and can learn, grow and be supported by each other.
“It is important to network nationally because we do not always need to reinvent the wheel,” she said. “Someone may already have the answer, and we only grow stronger and smarter politically and professionally as we link arms across the country. In addition, we always have a good time, and we definitely need more good times!”
Led by experienced, successful women, sessions will focus on the key issues facing female educational leaders today, including having tough conversations, teacher/leader evaluations, best practices for site leaders, selecting and working with mentors, establishing a professional network, and many more. Highlights include:
• The Politics of the Job. Led by experienced superintendents Vicki Barber, Nancy Lynch and Wendy LaDue, this session focuses on how to manage internal and external politics, improve board and community relations, work with elected officials, and collaborate with unions and parent groups through tough times to improve schools.
• Personal and Professional Next Steps – What Matters Most in Your Career Development. Led by former superintendents Gwen Gross, Peggy Lynch, Rene Townsend and Gloria Johnston, this panel discussion will share the essential qualities of successful leadership and offer advice about advancing the career ladder.
• Equity and Excellence. Three Latina educational leaders – Maria Ott, Carmello Franco and Darline Robles – will share their vision for transforming culturally and linguistically diverse schools into places of equity and excellence. Their lessons for being successful in diverse communities are a source of inspiration to all educators who aspire to extend the promises of democracy to every public school student.
• Balancing Life and Work. In this panel discussion, superintendents Linda Wagner, Trudy Arriaga and Mary Sieu will focus on work/life balance and the spirit of renewal. They will share their approach to work, life, career and community involvement, and ways to keep priorities in balance while maintaining good health. The panel will also provide an opportunity to share ideas about how to attract more women to the superintendency and to higher levels in educational administration.
To register, download a brochure at www.acsa.org/wln.