School may be out for summer, but a group of 23 educators in Flagstaff recently embarked on a 14-month program designed to foster strong learning environments and provide executive leadership training to current administrators and aspiring educational leaders.
The first unit of the Beat the Odds School Leadership Academy focused on the idea of what a “world-class” education means by looking at global trends and successful systems that are being employed in other countries.
It was an approach that received positive reviews from participants.
“I appreciated going from a global perspective and the comparison of the United States’ systems to other, higher performing countries and then narrowing that focus, bringing it back to our own schools right now to improve education,” said Vanessa Fitz-Kesler, Executive Director of Mountain School.
The academy is delivered through a partnership between the Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) and the National Institute for School Leadership. The Flagstaff cohort was developed from a collaborative effort between LAUNCH Flagstaff, CFA, Northern Arizona University (NAU) and the Flagstaff Unified School District (FUSD).
Participants in the cohort include representatives from FUSD, local charter schools and NAU, as well as early childhood educators.
Tadd Ragan, a teacher on assignment from Sinagua Middle School sees the academy as an “excellent opportunity for Flagstaff school leaders to meet, learn, discuss and collaborate on current educational topics and concerns.”
Over the next 14 months, the educators will meet 11 more times for 2-day sessions that will address strategic leadership, standards-based education systems, and instructional practices in math, English, history and science.
Flagstaff’s Beat the Odds cohort members are eligible to receive credits towards a graduate degree in education from NAU at a reduced cost.
“These graduate course credits and the grant funding for financial assistance for members of the cohort is a credit to the strong relationship between LAUNCH Flagstaff and NAU, and our shared commitment to improving schools in our region,” said Paul Kulpinski, the Partnership Director of LAUNCH Flagstaff.
We congratulate the members of the Flagstaff cohort and look forward to their ideas and innovations that will make our local schools even better.