National Instructional Leader Academy

Turning possibilities into probabilities for all students.

National Instructional Leader Academy Graduates

The National Instructional Leader Academy was developed by AASA and AVID as a timely opportunity for district instructional leaders to be refreshed and challenged in leadership skills and knowledge by looking through the lens of instruction, culture, and systems as they continue to grow as impactful leaders. To meet ever-changing needs in a digital age, and continue to provide equitable opportunities for all students, school district instructional leaders need an opportunity to grow in their own professional learning and to network with other leaders from across the country for collective impact.

Upon Successful Completion of the Academy participants will receive an AASA/AVID certification of completion and professional achievement.

Special rates are offered to district teams! If you are interested in having a team of 5 or more participate in this academy, please have each team member complete an application. Once all applications from a school/district are received, a member of our team will contact you to follow up. If you have any questions, please contact Adena Adams at

The National Instructional Leader Academy consists of three in-person institutes and each institute is three days long.

Institute I Institute II Institute III
Collaboration icon
Institute I Details

Topic: Leading Student-Centered, Equity-Focused Culture

January 22–23, 2024 from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. PT and January 24, 2024 from 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. PT | San Diego, CA 


Institute I Speakers:


Patrick Briggs

Northeast Area Director


Alyssa Gallagher

Alyssa Gallagher

Collaborator and Master Practitioner

Wiseman Group

David Culberhouse

David Culberhouse

Community Schools Program Manager

CCSPP Southern Inland Regional Transformation Center

Courtney Orzel

Courtney Orzel

Associate Director for Professional Development

Illinois Association of School Administrators  (IASA)

Professional Learning Community (PLC): Leading Culture,  February 21, 2024, 1:00 p.m. -3:00 p.m. ET - Virtual

Leading Systems NILA Icon
Institute II Details

Topic: Leading Quality Systems

March 25–26, 2024 from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. PT and March 27, 2024 from 8:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. PT| San Diego, CA


Institute II Speakers:

Zandra Jo Galvan

Zandra Jo Galván


Greenfield Union School District (Calif.)


Donna Leak

Donna Leak

Superintendent, Community Consolidated Schools District 168 (Ill.)

Vice Chair, Illinois State Board of Education

Professional Learning Community (PLC): Leading Systems April 17, 2024, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET -  Virtual

Impactful Instruction NILA icon
Institute III Details

Topic: Leading Impactful Instruction

April 29– 30, 2024 from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. PT and May 1, 2024 from  8:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. PT | San Diego, CA

Institute III Speakers:

Nick PolyakNick Polyak, Superintendent, Leyden High School district 212 (Ill.)



PJ CaposeyPJ Caposey, Superintendent, Meridian CUSD 223 (Ill.)



Amy Jackson, Supervisor of Educational Technology and Programs (Va.) 

Who should participate?
The National Instructional Leader Academy is designed for district leaders who are charged with setting the vision and leading implementation of instructional services, which may include teaching and learning, curriculum, accountability and/or technology. 
What will I learn?
  • Develop and engage in professional learning communities focused on the essential role of district instructional leadership in supporting equitable opportunities for all students.
  • Examine each leader’s current district goal, practices, and instructional systems through the lens of Leadership, Culture, Instruction and Systems in a consultancy protocol.
  • Implement processes to support district level culture, provide leadership, guide instruction, align and integrate systems which will ensure student outcomes of college and career readiness for all students.
  • Leaders will be empowered to address change, troubleshoot challenges and barriers, and identify the drivers they need to explicitly plan and lay a foundation for the conditions that will support equitable opportunities for all students.



January 22 to May 1, 2024

San Diego, California

Applications are due January 1, 2024. Special rates are offered to district teams!


Member Price


Non-Member Price

Not a member? Join today.

Apply today!


  • Debbie Magee

    Director, Leadership Network

    AASA, The School Superintendents Association


  • Jessica Thayer

    Manager, Leadership Development

    AVID Center

  • Adena Adams

    Program Lead, Leadership Network

    AASA, The School Superintendents Association

2024 NILA Informational Flyer
2024 National Instructional Leader Academy Flyer

AASA Leadership Network

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No matter where you are in your leadership journey, AASA’s Leadership Network programs help you grow and thrive to support you in meeting the needs of your school community!

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