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Association Executives Panel: Our Professional Groups Must Unify to Impact the Essential Educator Pipeline

The Thought Leader session “Leadership for Impact” at AASA’s national conference on Thursday featured those at the helm of several education organizations: David Schuler, executive director, AASA; Richard Culatta, chief executive officer, ASCD/ISTE; Ronn Nozoe, executive director, NASSP; and Earl Franks, executive director, NAESP.

The panel, moderated by LaTonya Goffney, superintendent of the Aldine Independent School District in Texas, articulated the pressing need for collaboration on vital professional staffing issues in k-12 education. They stressed the need for creating unified and positive messaging about public education for maximum collective impact.

The panelists also emphasized the need for seamless transitions between the roles in the education leadership pipeline and for mutual trust among educators and professional organizations in navigating the tough current educational landscape.

Panelists emphasized the importance of improving educator working conditions, effective professional learning opportunities and storytelling.

Schuler said: “We have to tell our stories. There are phenomenal things happening at our schools. You’re doing the work. Talk about it.”

Added Nozoe: “It’s time that educators take control of the profession that we’ve dedicated our entire lives to.”

A draft of a visual representation of the educator pipeline was presented as a work in progress.

“We know [the leadership path is] not always linear, but this image is the first time we’re visualizing this pipeline,” said Culatta.

Franks added: “Quality leadership matters. Kids will benefit from improving the pipeline, and that has always been the whole point.”

Ultimately, this discussion served as a rallying call for educators and supporting organizations to come together, unite their efforts and forge a path toward transformative change in education.

(Elly Serrano is senior marketing manager at AASA and Amiela Arcellana is marketing coordinator for AASA.)

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