We’re in a time of historic challenge and opportunity for public schools. Navigating a global pandemic, uniting communities and seizing the moment for transformative change will require extraordinary leadership.
When applications nearly doubled last year for our multi-year Holdsworth Partnership – from 23 to 43 – it was clear that demand for developing strong leaders is great.
We believe Holdsworth can do more to support and grow leaders who will rise to the occasion and widen opportunities for all of Texas’ 5.5 million public school students.
Together with the multi-year Holdsworth Partnership, the new offerings will allow us to increase our reach from 19 to 38 districts across Texas that collectively serve 1.1 million children and employ 152,000 faculty and staff.
Building a principal bench
The Holdsworth Leadership Collaborative is an 18-month program designed to help district leaders build a strong bench of principals who are ready to step into school leadership positions when they arise.
We’ve found that aspiring principals need more opportunities within their own districts to learn, grow and prepare for these critical roles, and when given support and guidance, district leaders can design and develop systems that make this possible.
Over 18 months, a team of three – the superintendent and two district leaders – will attend learning sessions at The Holdsworth Center’s Campus on Lake Austin.
They will learn best practices from organizations inside and outside of education that have built high-performing talent management systems, then work to define what great leadership looks like in their district. District leaders will then use this definition to design systems and structures to sustain the district’s school leadership pipeline.
By the end of the program, districts will begin to build and strengthen internal leadership development systems and be well equipped to continue the work.
Less lonely at the top
The role of a superintendent has always been a difficult job. Today, even more so.
Over the past 12 months, the state of Texas has seen an uptick in superintendent retirements. This means that Texas school districts will be seating a new cadre of superintendents who could either be stepping into the role for the first time or leading a much larger and more complex district than they have in the past.
Over the past 12 months, the state of Texas has seen an uptick in superintendent retirements.
The Superintendent Leadership Program will support a cohort of leaders who are in their first five years of the superintendency or are new to a large district, and are likely to have a long runway as a superintendent.
What superintendents learn in the 18-month program will be tailored to the needs of the cohort. Expert faculty and Holdsworth staff will provide training and support in the most challenging, high-stakes, and high-leverage aspects of the superintendent’s role.
Cohort members will also receive executive coaching from our Superintendents-in-Residence, Dr. Art Cavazos and Dr. Thomas Randle, both recently retired Texas superintendents with exemplary track records. Each superintendent will identify specific goals that they want to achieve through coaching.