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WPCSD District Leadership Team Recognized as Governance Team of the Year
Posted On:
Monday, November 25, 2019
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The White Pine County School District Leadership Team (Team) is comprised of innovative, dedicated, passionate, and talented leaders working interdependently to achieve the district’s vision of world class learning.  The Team strives for the synergy that comes through multiple leaders of leaders aligning their efforts and intention towards a few high leverage commitments. The result is that the “whole” is far greater than the “sum of the parts.”

The Team first formed in 2016 to completely recraft the District Performance Plan (DPP).  This required a frank analysis of the current plan and what was missing. The Team agreed that the plan needed to be scrapped and begun anew, with student learning as the single, unifying outcome.  The Team identified three high leverage strategies that would be woven throughout the plan, believing that if all members focused their individual and collective efforts on these strategies, that synergy and improvement would occur.  Those strategies are leadership development, dramatically improving Tier 1 instruction, and building better systems and structures to support world class learning. The new DPP, built with these theories of action, drives professional development, grant writing, classroom instruction, coaching, budget alignment, board action, principal behavior, and teacher accountability.  It is beautiful.

2017-2018 saw the Team engage in rigorous professional learning through world renowned National Institute for School Leadership.  Team members gave up 24 total days (usually Fridays and Saturdays) to meet together, read research on high performing organizations, tweak and refine the DPP, and outline strategies for better student performance.

2018-2019 saw the Team’s gradual release of responsibility from NISL and branch out on its own collective inquiry by reading Marzano’s “District Leadership That Works.”  Team members took turns facilitating the discussions, which culminated with an audit of the DPP against Marzano’s research based model.  

The Team meets regularly to recommit and reinspire.  It closely attends to a culture shaped through the building of shared knowledge.  Team members read seminal educational works in order to intellectually engage in the important task of leading with passion and energy.  During the summer months, Team members are charged with independently reviewing (with pen in hand) “The Startling State of Literacy Education” (Schmoker), “Leadership is an Affair of the Heart” (DuFour and Marzano) and more.  Team members then come together to discuss, challenge, and learn from each other. Collective commitments towards action are then built, which mandates to hold each other accountable for behaving as world class leaders.

The Team comprises board members, principals, instructional coaches, counselors, social workers, teachers, union leadership, the superintendent, and anyone else who wants to join!  It is inspiring to see leaders at all levels of the organization come together to collectively learn from each other and develop capacity and talent.  This Team motivates each and every member to aspire to be better. Isn’t that the hallmark of true leadership?

The Team’s work can be synthesized through the symbolism of the District’s logo.  The hands represent leaders’ skill: their technical know-how and proficiency to do the job.  The soil represents leaders’ will: their intrinsic desire, humility, and heart to want to change the world.  And the growing plant represents students’ learning: the growth that occurs as leaders create the correct conditions through their skill and will.

The WPCSD’s District Leadership Team is governance at its finest: board members, the superintendent, leaders at all levels of the organization coming together for the greater good--creating synergy and movement through the aligning energy into high leverage strategies that will change the world.