AASA National Superintendent Certification Program®: Leadership Development for Superintendents

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The following are quotes from past participants of the AASA National Superintendents Certification Program®. If you would like further information, please contact AASA Leadership Network at 703-875-0700 or the Amy Sichel, Lead Superintendent at amy.sichel@aasa.org.

•     The AASA National Superintendent Certification Program was more than just a professional development opportunity for me... It was a career-changing experience that paired me with high-quality thought partners who pushed my daily practice as a leader and was also a personal outlet amongst a group of people that understood exactly what I was going through. I would recommend that every superintendent who is sincere about being successful in this work enroll.

•    The AASA National Superintendent Certification Program® was an amazing learning experience for me!  I have not only grown as a school leader over the past two years, but I have grown as a person.  AASA has invested in me by providing excellent, relevant sessions led by knowledgeable and experienced school leaders. The opportunity to network with and build a resource of 30 fellow superintendents across this great nation has been an opportunity of a lifetime!

•    The AASA National Superintendent Certification Program was incredibly impactful and provided an opportunity to collaborate with other national superintendents which helped me to grow professionally.  Even during the global pandemic, AASA was able to provide an outstanding program by offering seminars and conversations for our cohort to work collaboratively to navigate issues and problems associated with the pandemic. AASA listened to the needs of our cohort and pivoted aspects of the program to accommodate the unique situation in which we were working. This has been an incredibly valuable experience and will have an indelible impact on my role as a superintendent. 

•    The program provided an intense opportunity for me to engage as a thought partner with superintendent colleagues from across the country to discuss critical constructs like ‘equity.’ The professional collaboration is unbeatable and helps to promote excellence by system leaders in America.

•    The National Superintendent Certification Program is one of the few opportunities that new-to-the-profession administrators have to accelerate their growth and truly develop a collaborative, nationwide peer network.  Being a part of this professional development process and watching the impact that the superintendent capstone projects have in their home districts has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my time and service. 

•    I applied to AASA’s National Superintendent Certification Program® to continue to develop myself professionally through exposure to a faculty of nationally recognized leaders delivering a rigorous and relevant curriculum.  The cohort model provided an amazing support network of critical colleagues with varied experiences and perspectives who work together in enhancing our practice as educational leaders in our roles as superintendents.

•    The AASA National Superintendent Certification Program® afforded me with an opportunity to connect with experienced superintendents as my thought partners, access to the latest research on how school systems can fulfill our vision of all children learning and thriving to their full potential.  In addition to these benefits, being a part of the program allowed me to develop a network of leading superintendents from across the nation.  

•    I learned how to apply new leadership concepts and incorporate principles into my work. It was gratifying to be part of high-level leadership opportunities for my personal and professional growth, which will help me better serve my school district and the community.

•    Amazing minds lead to amazing work and AASA’s National Superintendent Certification Program® was filled with amazing minds! Through AASA, I became involved in the Redefining Ready! initiative and framed a whole new “Pathways to Graduation” for New York State which is currently under consideration!

•    The timing was perfect when AASA, The School Superintendents Association, informed me that my application was accepted to be among the East Cohort for its AASA National Superintendent Certification Program®.

•    This unique leadership program, designed to help school district leaders succeed on the job, brings together superintendents from around the country. The East Coast Cohort, consisted  of 26 superintendents represented  15 states. We were able to benefit from lead learners as well as veteran superintendents. Just as important, we also learned from one another. These expert superintendents helped us understand that the working relationship with our board is perhaps the most important relationship we have.

•    During reflective leadership exercises highlighting our unique experiences, we built bonds that united us in the consistencies of the challenges we each face. We also engaged in board and governance workshops with representatives from the National School Boards Association.

•    The AASA National Superintendent’s Certification Program® opened the door to a wide range of experiences and opportunities. Due to my participation in this program, I was elected to AASA’s National Governing Board, which is allowing me to influence education policy and practice nationwide!

•    An essential element of the program included coach/mentor support from a master superintendent. This mentor relationship supported multiple levels of growth and support in the superintendency. The superintendency is often described as “lonely at the top,” but AASA is making efforts to change that through supportive, deliberate, thoughtful and high-level leadership and education.
•    As a member of AASA, I benefited from timely and relevant information about policy, leadership, board relations and other necessary tools to help me and others become more successful. AASA also directly supported my leadership development through this program, which gave us the opportunity to ponder the differences between preparation and readiness.  

•    Superintendents are licensed and prepared with degrees for the post. Are they ready to lead a district? Are they clear about their leadership story? This program supported growth, development and values from top leaders across the nation. For sustained success of education and growth in our nation, I strongly support participation in this program. This professional development initiative was critical for K-12 education as superintendents lead millions of children and effective leadership can be defined, learned and refined.  

•    Engaging in the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program® has enhanced my leadership and skills in ways that will benefit me and my profession for many years to come.

•     I have been truly blessed to serve as a mentor and teacher in the National Superintendent Certification Program. The superintendency is a solo role in every district.  It is often a position that you “learn by doing”.  Given the limited opportunities we have for peer-to-peer professional development, the learning curve can be steep and slow.  The National Superintendent Certification Program is one of the few opportunities that superintendents must accelerate their growth and truly develop a collaborative, nationwide peer network.  


For more information, please visit the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program® webpage


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