AASA Women In School Leadership Initiative

More Than a Power Lunch: Building Networks to Support and Advance Women in School Leadership

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      Join AASA for a New 9-Part Video Series

Women in School Leadership: Navigating Pathways to the Superintendency  

  • Learn about their journeys–the successes and challenges and how they overcame them to secure the superintendency.
  • Gain insights, life lessons and practical tips and advice to help you nail the top leadership job.
  • Discover proven strategies to help you break through barriers and navigate pathways to success.
Part 1 Gail Pletnick Gail Pletnick, Dysart Unified School District, Surprise, Ariz.  [3:33] 
TraciDavis  Traci Davis, Washoe County School District, Reno, Nev.  

AnaRiley Ana Riley, Portsmouth School Department, Portsmouth, R.I. 
WISL Debbi Burdick Debbi Burdick, Cave Creek Unified School District, Cave Creek, Ariz.  
 TheresaAlban Theresa Alban, Frederick County Public Schools, Md. 
marie wiles wisl 2018 Marie Wiles, Guilderland Central School District, N.Y.    
MichellePrice Michele Price, North Central Educational Service District 
 MaryJoHainstock Mary Jo Hainstock, superintendent, Vinton-Shellsburg Community Schools
wisl Michele Taylor Michele Taylor, superintendent, Calhoun City Schools, Ga.


BONUS CONTENT:  Join us November 26 – December 14  for two more inspiring leadership stories featuring:  Susan Rieke-Smith, superintendent, Tigard Tualatin School District, Ore., and Gwendolyn Page Shannon, superintendent, Southampton County School District, Va., in written profiles.



Below are a collection of resources to support women educational leaders in their professional growth and career development.  More resources are being developed and will be uploaded when they become available. Check back again later.

     Webinar Series 1  
WEBINAR SERIES (Part 1 of 3)
 Navigating Pathways to the Superintendency
Women comprise more than 70% of the education workforce, but few occupy the top leadership position in U.S. public school systems. Hear from the courageous women leaders who have broken through the barriers and taken over the helm of our nation’s school systems. Learn about their successes, challenges and lessons learned, while navigating pathways to the superintendency. Get advice and tips on how to make your journey a success. 
    Work-Life Balance WEBINAR SERIES (Part 2 of 3)
Finding Work-Life Balance

Superintendents have very difficult jobs. Given the demands of their work, finding a healthy balance between career and family responsibilities can be challenging. In this webinar, Dr. Beth Cabrera (Beyond Happy: Women, Work, and Well-Being) and Superintendent Jill Gildea provide insights on how to effectively balance career and family responsibilities, and thrive. Discover proven strategies for reducing stress, experiencing greater joy, and living a more authentic and meaningful life. Get practical advice that you can put into action immediately to increase productivity and job satisfaction.

      Firms and Boards WEBINAR SERIES: (Part 3 of  3)
 How to Work Effectively with School Boards and Search Firms to Advance Your Career 
Many distinct social barriers prevent qualified female candidates from ascending to the superintendent position. Discover how to overcome the negative perceptions. Learn how to work collaboratively with boards to achieve optimal results. Get practical advice and tips on how to navigate potential political minefields. Learn the right questions to ask to identify search firms with good track records in recruiting and placing women candidates. Obtain guidance on what to look for and how to navigate the web sites of search firms.
        Tweet Chat                                                               
TWEET CHAT:  Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking That Block Women's Paths to Power  
Join guest hosts Pamela Moran and Elizabeth Freeman in a discussion of The New York Times best-seller Break Your Own Rules (by authors Flynn, heath and Holt.) Learn about the six faulty assumptions (or "rules") most women follow that get in the way of them nailing the top leadership job. Discover how to break through the barriers and advance in your career by adopting the new rules of leadership that lead to clear a path to help you move up the district ladder.  
  • View archive of Tweet Chat in Storify.                                               
      Women Leaders WEBINAR:  Women Leaders: Lessons from Our Times 

Education industry thought leaders Kathy Hurley (Real Women, Real Leaders) and Ann McMullan (Life Lessons in Leadership: The Way of the Wallaby) share life lessons on how to become a successful leader, in this AASA webinar. Participants will discover strategies to help navigate leadership roles within school systems; learn key leadership competencies and how to use them to navigate pathways to success; get special access to a leadership self-assessment tool that will help discover leadership traits; and determine which skills women need to acquire to develop a personal roadmap to the top.  

      SA June 17 FEATURE STORY:  School Administrator Magazine, June 2017 Issue 
  • Moving Women Up the District Ladder - (AASA's LeadershipConsortium guides career pathways that may lead to the top jobs)
  • An Obligation to Share Tactics and Tools (A Mentor's Perspective)
  • Confidence on My Journey to the Superintendency (A Mentee's Perspective)
  • AASA Consortium Connects Mentors and Mentees  
      Webinar 1 WEBINAR: More Than a Power Lunch  

Lessons Learned and Recommended Strategies for Overcoming Barriers

The AASA National Women's Leadership Consortium think tank provides an update on the initiative, shares key findings and discusses the implications of the work for women who are aspiring to top leadership positions in school districts. 

 NCE Logo 3 NCE 2017: WORKSHOP 

More Than A Power Lunch Workshop: Connecting  Learning To Practice
Hear the success stories of women superintendents who have made it to the top leadership positions in education and the aspiring women leaders they mentor. Participants gain insights into the challenges women face when seeking to advance in their career and how to overcome them; learn how to use mentoring effectively to achieve career goals; and get tips on how to leverage networks for support and career advancement.  


More Than A Power Lunch: Building Networks To Support and Advance Women in School Leadership
The AASA National Women’s Leadership Consortium think tank provides an update on the initiative and engages attendees in a thought-provoking conversation about the implications of the work for women in school leadership. Hear about the critical issues women face when seeking top leadership positions in school districts, and learn how male and female mentors can play a critical role in their leadership development. 



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Staff Contact: Valerie Truesdale, Assistant Executive Director, Leadership Network, at vtruesdale@aasa.org.