On July 20, as a prelude to the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) annual meeting, 75 chiefs and deputies from throughout the country will be heading to the Harvard Graduate School of Education for a day of seminars, workshops, and reflective exercises led by Ed School faculty. The program will be chaired by Professor Paul Reville, former Massachusetts Secretary of Education, and include presentations by Professors Monica Higgins, Robert Kegan, and Deborah Jewell-Sherman.
CCSSO is a nonprofit organization whose membership comprises public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the United States. The sessions are designed to give a chance for chiefs and their deputies to explore critical subjects in the field, ranging from organizational leadership to self-preservation in the public domain.
“We are hoping that these important state leaders will be intellectually stimulated, exposed to some new tools and perspectives, refreshed by a chance to reflect in the company of experienced, knowledgeable peers and faculty, and generally reinvigorated as they approach a new school year,” Reville says, adding that it is also an opportunity for participants to form continuing relationships with HGSE and its faculty.
Jewell-Sherman, among the faculty of the Ed School’s Doctor of Education Leadership Program, earned a reputation as one of the most successful urban superintendents in the country in her former position as head of the Richmond, Va., public schools. She will be facilitating today’s concluding session, “Personal Growth, Reflection, Health and Safety,” in which, she says, she will highlight knowledge, skills, and habits that enable district leaders “to bring about transformation and positive student outcomes in the midst of challenge and change.”
Jewell-Sherman has high hopes for what the event will accomplish. “I'm hoping that participants will see that changing beliefs, systems, and outcomes for students are realistic aspirations of their leadership and that they must attend to their own well being so that they can lead, learn, and remain in the work over time,” she says.