Edwards Educational Services held its West Virginia Cohort 4 Leadership Institute at the Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, West Virginia from June 12th -14th. Groups of aspiring and current school leaders from Fayette, Raleigh, McDowell and Pleasants County, West Virginia spent three days engaged in professional conversations about the critical role of a visionary school principal. Leaders of today face seemingly insurmountable challenges, yet each individual participant spoke of personal experiences that motivated them to stay the course, advocate for the children in their care, and try to make a difference despite a lack of resources and support.
Dr. Anthony Annunziato, Project Director, and Dr. Steve Edwards, president and CEO of EES, opened the workshop by laying the groundwork for the themes and conceptual frameworks that would underscore the work of the Institute. First and Second Order Change, Culture and Climate, Emotional Intelligence, Courageous Conversations and the urgency, ethics and responsibility of being responsive to children of poverty are just but a few examples of some of the salient topics covered over the course of three days .
EES consultants Terry Cash, Anthony Annunziato, and Mary Lu MacCorkle, expertly facilitated the deep dialogue about school leadership development and research. District-level coordinators Betty Salvador, and Dreama Bell and mentor Bill Furgason, also assisted in guiding discussions that examined innovative practices and provided regional context.
Participants identified, synthesized, modeled, and debated best practices. Dr. Cash shared district level data that illuminated progress towards goals and highlighted areas that require continued focus and attention in the individual districts. Dr. Jerry Lake presented a thought-provoking presentation on Emotional Intelligence. The work was rigorous, insightful and value-added to all involved.
The Leadership Program offered participants the opportunity to reflect on the most current expertise of effective leadership, with a focus on teaching and learning; all important tools with which to positively engage a community and school(s) in organizational change. These are the leaders of tomorrow, and with the support and expertise of the EES staff, these future leaders will continue to build knowledge, make an impact on student achievement and make a difference in the lives of children who in many cases cannot advocate for themselves.