Preparing the next generation

Preparing the next generation of school district leaders
by Dr. Gladys I. Cruz

Are you a Latino or Latina school or district leader who aspires to do more in your career? AASA – The School Superintendents Association – has launched The Aspiring Superintendents Academy® For Latino and Latina Leaders to help the next generation of leaders within our community.
I am pleased to be one of the lead teachers, along with Dr. Lupita Hightower from Arizona, for the initial cohort which runs through February 2022. The highly engaging virtual program was designed using research and feedback from current Latino and Latina superintendents from across the nation. By tailoring the program to speak to our own experiences, we are ensuring that it really speaks to Latino leaders.

The Academy will help to demystify the position of the school superintendent and provide a blueprint for success in key areas of the role. Through real-world, situational leadership tasks, participants will work collaboratively to prepare themselves to become the future leaders of school districts across the country.

Aside from the experiential learning and growth that participants will undergo because of their involvement, they will also benefit from expanding their professional networks by interacting with highly experienced and successful superintendents. Professional development sessions focus on various topics including Framing the Superintendent Role, Leading for Equity with Urgency, Understanding Governance, Building a Community of Support, Balancing Leadership, and Leading Learning.

This program is designed for up-and-coming leaders who have been long underrepresented in public education. Currently, less than 2 percent of superintendents across the country are Latino. In New York, with 700 school districts, there are less than 15 Latino superintendents, yet the number of Latino or Hispanic students continues to grow.

Latino and Latina leaders who want to be a school superintendent are encouraged to apply to the 2022 program. Applications are due January 15, 2022. Please visit www.aasa.org/aspiring-latino.aspx for more information.

Dr. Gladys I. Cruz is the District Superintendent of Questar III BOCES, Castleton, NY. Cruz is well-known across the region and state. Over a 30-year span, she has established a distinguished career as a teacher and education leader. Since joining Questar III in 1998, Cruz has served in a number of leadership positions.

women with laptop and young Latinos Photos by William Fortunato and Monstera from Pexels.

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