Building Effective Leadership Academy

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In these highly challenging times for leading and living, it is natural for even a seasoned, skilled school leader to feel overwhelmed and uncertain in the post-COVID environment.  For amid the typical responsibilities and tests of the role, administrations now also need to sort out how to meet the adaptive challenge of reopening school, support and lead others through the collective trauma of COVID, and set some stabilizing yet transformative pathways forward.  If this situation resonates with you, please consider registering for BEL.  The BEL Academy is designed to help administrators responding to COVID become intentional learning leaders who are developing learning organizations that are focused on positively impacting student achievement and growth despite these challenges.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, we are updating our BEL Academy content to address these critical, timely issues:

  • Becoming a Better Version of Yourself: Meeting the Adaptive Challenge of Reopening School
  • COVID as Collective Trauma: Supporting and Leading Others Through the Turbulence
  • Identifying Your Vital Few:  Setting Priorities Amid Many Potential Pathways
  • Your Next 100 Days: Embracing and Leveraging This Re-Set Moment

Among the Reasons for Joining the BEL Academy:

  1. This Academy launches in late July, allowing you the opportunity to ready your plans and thinking from the opening BEL sessions in time for the fall semester.  Moreover, the July sessions will be provided virtually, so anyone interested can engage, regardless of health concerns or other constraints.
  2. Participants in the BEL Academy have the opportunity to work with a personal coach on a monthly basis at no additional cost.
  3. Practicing administrators who successfully complete BEL will be reimbursed up to 75% of the registration fee.
  4. 100% of the 2019-20 BEL Academy participants surveyed rated BEL as "excellent" in the degree to which the academy met their expectations.


$499 for AWSA members and $749 for non-members

Wisconsin school leaders will be reimbursed up to 75% of the registration fee for completing an eligible Academy (will not be less than 50%). Reimbursement is limited and will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis and eligibility is limited to licensed and practicing public or private school administrators. Registration must be paid in full by December 4, 2020. Reimbursements will be processed at the completion of the Academy.

If you are not certain if you qualify for this reimbursement or if you have questions, please call the AWSA office at 608-241-0300. You can also find out more in our 2020-21 Professional Learning Catalog.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Clarify and integrate who you are and what you do to maximize your purpose as a learning leader.
  2. Gain means for effectively addressing complex issues of school culture using the School Leader Paradigm. 
  3. Identify key school stakeholders to develop shared, distributed leadership. 
  4. Expand your tool box for leading deep systems change to improve learning through sharing. 
  5. Leverage your professional network (PLN) to provide inspiration and support ongoing transformation. 

Leading Objectives:

  1. Apply cycles of inquiry to the most critical problems of practice in your school so that you can leverage results and model the life of continuous growth as a learning leader developing a learning organization.
  2. Operationalize time and process management techniques into a high-impact weekly calendar that promotes proactive leadership. 
  3. Refine key shared leadership structures in the school.
  4. Deepen your legacy by developing knowledge and skill in growth-focused supervision and critical conversations. 
  5. Embed habits and disciplines of self-care that help you lead an effective and sustainable career without losing your wholeness as a human being.

Note: Participants in the BEL Academy also have the opportunity to work with a personal coach on a monthly basis at no additional cost.

Dates and Locations: 

This Academy includes three two-day workshops taking place throughout the year. The workshops begin at 7:30 with registration and breakfast. The workshop itself runs 8:00-3:00.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions AWSA has changed the format from in-person to virtual attendance for the July dates. If you have any questions, please contact Jena Sebald at [email protected].

Dates and Locations

July 28-29, 2020 | Virtual Online Sessions
A recording of this session is available for 
those who start after this date.

October 26-27, 2020 | Virtual Online Sessions

February 22-23, 2021 | Hilton Garden Inn, Sun Prairie*

*Please Note:
We will also offer a virtual learning option for the October and February BEL sessions for those participants who might need/want this. 

Other Information:

Cancellation Policy: Full refund of fees will be made on cancellations received 10 days prior to the start of the convention. Following that date, a 40% administrative fee will be retained. There will be no refund for no-shows or cancellations during the event. 

Accessibility: For questions about accessibility or to request special assistance during the event, please contact Kathy Gilbertson at [email protected]. Three weeks advance notice is required to allow us to provide seamless access. If you need to cancel the special request this must be done at least 3 working days prior to the start of the event. See registration cancellation policy for how to cancel your conference registration.

Questions? For questions on registration, payment, or general information please call the AWSA offices at 608-241-0300.