"Through the Leadership Academy, we have been afforded the time as well as the expertise to take our district to the next level. As we work to move our district from simple first-order changes to the necesary but exceeedingly more difficult second-order changes, it is reassuring to know we are not alone, and have support from fellow colleagues and experts in the field. We would clearly not be as focused and moving forward as quickly without the Washington State Leadership Academy."
Kim Headrick, Cle Elum-Roslyn School District
"My school district was lucky to get two solid years of training from the Washington State Leadership Academy. The payoff? My school, Mountain Way Elementary, made AYP in all areas in 2010 and merited a School of Distinction Award. A School of Distinction is one of the 5% highest improving schools in the state—only 94 schools were honored this year. Given the success my school has experienced, it was disheartening to see that WSLA may fall under the state budget ax. The work provided by academy leaders and teachers is vital to improving student performance, sets a standard for other Washington schools to follow, and brings our state national recognition. I highlighted my administrative team's academy experience, for example, in an article that just appeared in the January/February 2011 issue of Principal. WSLA is also listed as a resource (Principal Online, p. 12). I do hope the powerful work of the Washington State Leadership Academy will continue."
Cathie E. West, Granite Falls School District
"I just want to say how important the WSLA program has been for this small district. The program has provided my leadership team the time and guidance to work on the critical issues within the district. Being a one-administrator district, to accomplish what we have done with the coaching support and dedicated time would not have happened without being involved in the program. The WSLA program allows us to dedicate time to focus on our Problem of Practice in a systematic method. As we are in our second year, I am beginning to see the fruits of our labor. Teachers are working together, our building is focus in a common goal and I just feel a lot of this has to do with the work we have accomplished in the WSLA program.
I just feel I needed to say this. As a retired military office, I know the value of leadership training. I also know that it is not something you just do once and forget about it. It needs reinforcement and nurturing, and WSLA does that. Thanks for all you and your staff are doing."
Rich DuBois, Lake Quinault School District
"The Washington State Leadership Academy has been a very positive and productive experience for the ESD 113 team. I have been impressed by both the theoretical content and the application of that content by the Academy participants. Our group identified a critical area for ESD improvement as our problem of practice and then designed and implemented action steps to address that need. Through this work we will create a more data driven process to identify and then respond to the districts in our region that are most in need of our services."
Bill Keim, ESD 113
Evaluation response of the day from the ESD 113 regional training on May 12, 2009:
Question: What did you find to be most valuable during this session?
"We all came in beat up and depressed, but through the focused work, we left hopeful and lighter!"
WSLA Participant in the ESD 113 Region
"Professionally, the Leadership Academy has been just what I needed. I value the professional support provided by our team's coach, the strategy sharing that occurs at the academy meetings, and the informative resource materials. Thank you!"
Cathie West, Granite Falls School District
"The Washington State Leadership Academy has been a valuable offering for our district to bring district and building leaders together to fully explore an important problem of practice within our district and to begin the dialog for how to best correct the problem. Through the work of the Academy our team has been able to fully collaborate through discussion and research in order to provide high quality, well planned interventions that will benefit the entire district and student achievement."
Chris Backman, Tacoma Public Schools
"I don't know if you and the rest of the WSLA Team realize what a difference this program is making for leaders in our state. This is ground breaking and will have critical impact throughout our state. I applaud and thank you for the opportunity to be involved, and for the growth our district leadership team has made and will continue to make. BRAVO!"
Sharon Bower, Toledo School District