Building Effective Leadership Academy

BEL Academy bell logo

This academy is full! Please email [email protected] to be put on a waiting list 
in the event of a cancellation. 

Due to the incredibly busy nature of the work, it is very easy for an administrator to be a principal who “runs a school” without ever becoming a learning leader who is developing a learning organization.  And that’s concerning because our schools and communities need not just building managers, but learning leaders (those who are able to cultivate the culture and systems of a learning organization over time) if we are to significantly make headway on our commitment to the success and well-being of every student under our care.

In response, the BEL (Building Effective Leadership) Academy is focused on not just helping a leader survive in the role, but rather thrive as an effective and balanced learning leader who is developing a learning organization.  Essentially, the purpose of BEL is to help educational leaders become better versions of themselves so that schools get the learning leaders they need.

What Past Participants Have Said About BEL:
  • Through my participation in the BEL Academy, I feel that I am more energized and purposeful in my role as a building leader. I continue to work on growing and strengthening my skills as a learning leader focused on the impact we are having on student learning and achievement. The BEL Academy has helped me to do that as it provided structures and tools for continuous improvement that are able to be implemented immediately.
  • Through participation in BEL Academy, I have learned to be much more intentional as a leader with my time, energy, and resources. This experience has moved my school and me forward already in a short time and will have a lasting impact in the years to come.  It was absolutely outstanding and I would recommend it to any aged leader.
  • Through my participation in the BEL Academy, I was able to gain more balance in my life allowing me to improve my ability to serve as a learning leader in my school.
  • Through my participation in the BEL Academy, I made significant progress in being able to live out actions toward being an effective leader, an efficient manager AND a whole human being. While this work is an ongoing journey of improvement, because of BEL Academy, I know I have the skills and tools to be an impactful leader.
  • Through my participation in the BEL Academy, I was able to connect with peers from around the state who have experienced and understood the challenges that I go through in my role as a building administrator. I appreciated the honesty and vulnerability of everyone in the group as we grew both personally and professionally.  I would highly recommend this academy to any building administrator as a great way to regain focus, prioritize our "big rocks,” and live and lead with intention.
  • I recommend the BEL Academy because it provides you with resources, a PLN, and a plan to take with you.  Joe and Tammy are great at what they do, and their ideas will be utilized by me for years to come.
  • The BEL Academy is a must for any building leader. The resources provided, the skill development, and the networking is very helpful while being thoughtfully presented.  In a world with many professional development opportunities, this is at the top of the list because it is directly applicable to building-level work.
  • I recommend the BEL Academy because it provides you the opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals, helps you map out and plan sustainable and actionable goals, and provides an intentional focus on our purpose as educational leaders
Among the Reasons for Joining the BEL Academy:
  • 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.
  • Participants in the BEL Academy have the opportunity to work with a personal coach on a monthly basis at no additional cost.
  • Practicing administrators who successfully complete BEL will be reimbursed up to 75% of the registration fee.
  • Typically, 100% of BEL Academy participants surveyed rated BEL as “excellent” or “above average” in the degree to which the academy met their expectations.


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 toolbox for leading deep systems change to improve learning through shared, distributed leadership. 
  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.


$599 for AWSA members and $860 for non-members

Dates and Locations: 

July 26 and 27, 2022 | Hilton Garden Inn, Sun Prairie

Nov. 2 and 3, 2022 | Hilton Garden Inn, Sun Prairie

Feb. 21 and 22, 2023 | Hilton Garden Inn, Sun Prairie

Overnight Reservations:

Feb. 21-22, 2023

Hilton Garden Inn
1220 S Grand Ave
Sun Prairie, WI
Book Online here

Tax exempt certificates are to be presented at time of check-in.

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.