The Gadsden County school district kicked off its leadership conference July 16 in Tallahassee.
This year’s theme was “Leadership Inspires.” School officials heard inspiring messages from Larry Roziers, former assistant superintendent for community relations in Duval County; Sharon Thomas, ESE director, Gadsden; and Kristie Kennedy, owner of Queenfidence Image Consulting.
Participants were challenged to accept “growth over comfort” and to take time to reflect, refine and renew. Gadsden County School Superintendent Roger Milton told participants there is a lot of work still to be done and challenged all principals to strive for excellence, to continue to put children first, and to aim to make Gadsden County a “B” school district.
Work sessions involved school leaders identifying four key areas – talent management, culture, operational expertise, and instructional leadership – and developing action plans for closing the achievement gap. Interactive dialogue took many forms – “think, pair, share,” table discussion and individual reflection. School and district-level collaboration permeated the room.
Pearl Roziers, former assistant superintendent of Duval County, led the group sessions and facilitated strategies for policies and procedures. When asked how emotional intelligence, the Law of Attraction and calendar planning fit into the overall theme of the seminar, Professional Learning Director Ida Walker responded that visualizing, reflecting, and building relationships are three of the most powerful tools in cultivating effective leadership.
The area directors for elementary and secondary education, Tammy Farlin and Sylvia Jackson, shared the teacher evaluation process, timelines for observations, and the scoring rubric of the instrument. Bruce James, district inventory/safe schools coordinator, and Bonnie Wood, finance director, updated administrators on bullying, safe schools and budget items.
Each participant walked away with a sense of action. Having a renewed perspective of accepting growth over comfort, all leaders and the newbies (Maurice Stokes, new principal at Shanks Middle School and Pamela Jones, new principal at Gadsden High School) left with an intense sense of urgency to take their school sites to the next level. #JustLead
Special to The Herald
Photos courtesy Gadsden County Schools