Aiming High: Educators selected for new Emerging Leaders Academy

Twenty Oklahoma educators have been selected for the inaugural class of the Emerging Leaders Academy, a new leadership development program for aspiring superintendents.

The academy, a joint effort of the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration and the Oklahoma State School Boards Association, is designed to strengthen Oklahoma’s education leadership pipeline. Participants will attend multiple professional development sessions over the next year led by experienced education leaders, learning about leadership, team building, strategic communication, school finance, education law, advocacy and other important topics.

“Our inaugural academy class is an impressive group of up-and-coming leaders with varied experiences in rural, suburban and urban school districts from across the state,” said CCOSA Executive Director Pam Deering. “Not only will they learn from some of the state’s most experienced education leaders, they’ll learn and grow from their interaction with each other.”

Superintendents work with the  local school board to set a vision for the school district and student achievement. Superintendents also often find themselves as key economic leaders in the communities they serve because school districts are often the community’s largest employer.

OSSBA Executive Director Shawn Hime said taking a proactive approach to building the leadership pipeline will help ensure school boards have a high-quality applicant pool when hiring a superintendent.

“School boards want and need district executives who are well prepared for a job that’s increasingly complex and demanding,” Hime said. “A strong school board-superintendent team is critical to ensure excellent education opportunities for all Oklahoma children.”

The participants are:

  • Glen Abshere, Claremore Public Schools
  • Timothy Argo, Alva Public Schools
  • Shawn Blankenship, Piedmont Public Schools
  • Jason Brown, Norman Public Schools
  • Lora Burch, Taloga Public Schools
  • Channa Byerly, Duncan Public Schools
  • Aspasia Carlson, Oklahoma City Public Schools
  • Randy Decker, Edmond Public Schools
  • Kim Dyce, Muskogee Public Schools
  • Kristin Ferguson-Harris, Newcastle Public Schools
  • Angela Grunewald, Edmond Public Schools
  • Jill Henderson, Altus Public Schools
  • Keni Iverson, Miami Public Schools
  • DeAnn Mashburn, Tahlequah Public Schools
  • Sheli McAdoo, Yukon Public Schools
  • Holly Nevels, Norman Public Schools
  • Tammie Reynolds, Elgin Public Schools
  • Angela Rhoades, Woodward Public Schools
  • Tracy Skinner, Mustang Public Schools
  • Kyle Vanderburg, Wilburton Public Schools