Charting AWSA’s Future

by Rick Flaherty, AWSA Board President and Principal of Superior Middle School

The AWSA Board of Directors is currently reviewing our organizational goals or “Ends Statements,” which is something the organization does every five years. This article describes where we are at in the process and provides an opportunity for your input prior to board action this spring.

We began the process by including questions about AWSA’s current Ends Statements in the association’s 2018 Membership Satisfaction survey.  Subsequently, the Board of Directors has convened key stakeholders to review relevant data, consider the current environment, and anticipate future needs.  We have engaged stakeholders around the following three questions:

  • What strikes you or resonates with you about the current Ends Statements?
  • Is there anything in the current Ends Statements that should be strengthened or modified?
  • Are there issues that are not captured in the current Ends Statements that should be considered? 

These engagement sessions have included:

  • School leaders
    • Members and non-members
    • Active members and not-active members
    • Public and private school leaders
    • District administrators
    • School board members
    • Students
    • Teachers
    • Representatives of the Department of Public Education
    • Research experts in school leadership

Listening to the feedback from superintendents, other principals, teachers, researchers, students, and all other invested individuals who participated in this process enforced the notion that the work of school leaders is absolutely critical to the success of schools.  It is also an important reminder that many organizations, groups, and individuals within our state care deeply about doing the right thing for those who work hard to provide high-quality education and, most importantly, that students benefit from this work.   

Through board deliberations, to date, the following themes have emerged:

  • We must continually identify and address the most significant barriers and opportunities for school leaders’ sustained success (reduce the complexity of the position and address workplace wellness).
  • Equity must be explicit throughout our organizational goals.
  • We must maintain and strengthen AWSA’s professional learning and information services. 
This document provides a thorough background on this process, AWSA’s current goals, and the proposed changes that we will consider at our spring meeting. If you have any thoughts for the board to consider as we finalize this important work, please email me at [email protected].

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Elementary Edition - Secondary Edition - District Level Edition