I decided to apply for Leadership Matters as part of Cohort 3. What a year of learning and what an experience participating with 25 different leaders from all over the state! We developed a very close bond and network that can be called upon at any time to provide affirmation, support, assistance in answering questions and a listening ear when needed.
Leadership Matters is a specialty endorsement program, sponsored by MEMSPA, that is focused on ensuring participants learn and apply the essential skills and strategies of leadership necessary to ensure success as a practicing principal. The yearlong class helps new, beginning, and mature practicing principals develop the courage and intentionality necessary to build and sustain a collaborative and accountable school culture. Nancy Colflesh and Debbie McFalone are the learning facilitators of Leadership Matters and have synthesized the most essential parts of the principalship that must be learned and perfected in order to do the demanding work we face.
Although at times, the learning provided during Leadership Matters was review for me, it seems that every weekend I came with zeal and enthusiasm to learn with our cohort even after a long week of school. I always took away new learning each weekend that could be applied immediately to any situation at my school. One gift of the class is the 10 hours of one on one coaching that you receive via phone by either Debbie or Nancy. The opportunity to talk through problems, concerns, and/or worries and turn them into an action plan was priceless.
One of the strongest strengths of the MEMSPA organization is the support given to rural and suburban principals who come from smaller districts where he or she may be the only elementary or middle level principal in the district. The learning of leadership that is provided is essential for a principal who is all alone and responsible for his or her own development. Through the years, I have taken advantage of these opportunities for learning provided by MEMSPA, at Camp Kett, Summer Leadership Institutes, Annual Conferences, and individual sessions on pertinent topics. I urge you if you haven’t already done so to consider joining Cohort 5 of Leadership Matters. You will definitely not regret this wonderful opportunity of learning about yourself, your leadership, and how you can become a better leading learner!