DA’s National Superintendents Academy equips aspiring K-12 superintendents with the skills, systems, and relationships they
need to successfully step up to the superintendency and, once
in the role, to drive significant positive transformations in culture
and achievement for their districts.

Graduates are prepared to inspire and lead school districts toward
the cultural shifts that enable better collaboration between
stakeholders, a stronger focus on the mission, and improved
outcomes for every learner.

Cohort Dates and Times

Our Spring 2022 Cohort consists of three sessions of attendance,
of which the dates are as follows (9 days total):

  • March 10-12, 2022: live in Dallas
  • April 27-29, 2022: virtual
  • May 11-13, 2022: virtual


Tuition: $3,500* (includes materials)

Discount(s) available for DA Leadership Institute
member districts.

Discounts available for district leadership teams:

  • 1 attendee – $3,500/attendee
  • 2 attendees – $3,000/attendee
  • 3 or more attendees – $2,750/attendee


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Learn from highly successful superintendents and executives who share the essential systems and leadership philosophies they
have used to significantly increase performance across large organizations. You will complete the program equipped with a
solid mastery of the complex academic, political and logistical rigors inherent in running a K-12 school district – communicating effectively with your school board, managing a large organization, and building an inspired, empowered and accountable culture that supports student achievement and leads to continuous growth and improvement.

Motivated Participants

Your cohort will comprise fellow high-performing leaders in
education, as well as executives from the private sector and other
not-for-profit organizations. A rigorous selection process and
the limited number of seats for each cohort ensure that you will be learning and working toward your goals among individuals who are driven, successful and eager to advance their careers.

Ongoing Support

To ensure the success of our recent graduates, we provide support throughout the placement process and the first full year on the job. We understand the challenges that may arise in your new position, and we’re here to help our graduates with a smooth transition. The National Superintendents Academy will monitor the progress of graduates, tracking those placed in superintendencies, their longevity in position, and student achievement results. This data will be used to inform and continually improve the program curriculum.

Benefits for Your District

Participation in the National Superintendents Academy program not only prepares you to move on to the superintendency, it will give you a better understanding of your current district superintendent’s role, enable you to better support their administration, and help you to perform more effectively in your current role. This forward-focused mindset will help you retain and attract more rising stars to your district.


Past Featured Speakers

Alexandra Estrella

Superintendent, Norwalk Public Schools

Alexandra Estrella

Dr. Estrella, a first-generation Latina-American, is a visionary, innovative, forward-thinking leader that does not accept the status quo regarding scholar development and learning opportunities. An educator with over 20 years of experience, Dr. Estrella has spent the last seven years in the role of superintendent for Community School District Four in East Harlem, New York. Part of the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE), District Four comprises twenty-three schools serving approximately 13,500 students grades 3-K through 12. During the 2019-2020 academic school year, she received three proclamations from community legislative officials highlighting her relentless commitment to improving the lives of children and families in the East Harlem community.

Alicia Thompson

Superintendent, Wichita Public Schools

Alicia Thompson

Dr. Alicia Thompson’s responsibilities as superintendent of the Wichita Public Schools formally began on July 1, 2017. Being a native of Wichita, KS, Dr. Thompson is no stranger to Wichita Public Schools or the community.
Beginning her educational journey at Carter Elementary School, Dr. Thompson went on to attend  Chisholm Trail Elementary, Brooks Middle School, and graduated from Heights High School as a proud Falcon. She obtained her post-secondary education from Langston University,  Newman University, and ultimately received her doctorate of educational leadership from Wichita State University.
Her 25-year career in Kansas’ largest school district began as a teacher at Ingalls Elementary, now Spaght Magnet Elementary. She transitioned into a building leader and then a district-level administrator prior to her appointment as Wichita’s superintendent in spring 2017.
Dr. Thompson believes in investing her own time in the community that has supported her. Community activities have included service on boards of directors for Goodwill Industries, American Red Cross, Real Men Real Heroes, Leadership Wichita and Exploration Place.
In her role as superintendent, she serves the Wichita Chamber Board of Directors, United Way of the Plains Board of Directors, The Greater Wichita Partnership and Business Education Alliance. She also serves on the WSU School of Education Leadership Advisory Board, and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, The Links, Inc.
Dr. Thompson has been honored with the Wichita Business Journal’s Leadership in Diversity Award, the Martin Luther King Education Award from the Urban League of Kansas, and the NAACP Education Award, to name a few.
Dr. Thompson and her husband Reggie, a West High Pioneer, have two children – a daughter who graduated from Northeast Magnet, and a daughter who is a student in the Wichita Public Schools.

Amity Schuyler

Deputy Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Education

Amity Schuyler

D’Andre Weaver

Superintendent, DeSoto ISD

D’Andre Weaver

DeSoto Independent School District Superintendent of Schools D’Andre J. Weaver. Ph.D. is a South Side Chicago native who has been described as strategic, visionary and forward-thinking among the national education community. Driven by the desire to help others realize their dreams, Dr. Weaver has been recognized throughout his career for improving student achievement. His educational focus centers on equity, access, and transformational educational initiatives.

Under Dr. Weaver’s leadership, DeSoto ISD experienced a 12-point gain in the district’s accountability rating according to the Texas Education Agency. In addition, Dr. Weaver and his leadership team have led an organizational redesign effort to improve the employment and educational experiences of staff and students in DeSoto ISD, placing an emphasis on establishing a culture of continual improvement and learning, collective genius and systemwide alignment and collaboration.

Prior to his appointment as the superintendent of DeSoto ISD, Dr. Weaver served as a Community Superintendent with Houston-area school system Spring Branch Independent School District where he supported 20 principals. He was a part of a senior leadership team that transformed the traditional approach to education by creating personalized learning experiences for each of the district’s 35,000 students which resulted in dramatic increases in student achievement.

As a principal, Dr. Weaver led Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy, one of eleven selective enrollment high schools in the Chicago Public Schools system. Brooks serves a population of students that are 99% minority and, of whom, more than 75% are considered economically disadvantaged. During his tenure, graduation rates, college entrance and retention rates, and freshmen on-track rates improved to all-time highs. As a result, U.S. News and World Report recognized Brooks as the #10 best high school in Illinois and recognized the school with its third Gold Medal status award.

Dr. Weaver is married to his high school sweetheart, Chyla, who is also an educational leader; they have two daughters, Elle and Ava who both attend DeSoto ISD schools.

Joe Sanfelippo

Superintendent, Fall Creek School District

Joe Sanfelippo

Dr. Joe Sanfelippo is the Superintendent of the Fall Creek School District in Fall Creek, Wisconsin. Joe holds a BA in Elementary and Early Childhood Education, an MS in Educational Psychology, an MS in Educational Leadership, and a Ph.D. in Leadership, Learning, and Service. Joe co-authored multiple books, most recently Hacking Leadership: 10 Ways Great Leaders Inspire Learning That Teachers, Students, and Parents Love. He was selected as 1 of 117 Future Ready Superintendents in 2014 and 1 of 50 Superintendents as a Personalized Learning Leader by the US Department of Education in 2016. Education Dive named Joe 1 of 5 K-12 Administrators to watch in 2018 and their National Superintendent of the Year in 2019.

Jonathan Raymond

Former Superintendent/Author

Jonathan Raymond

Jonathan Raymond spent over four years running the public schools in Sacramento, known as “America’s Most Diverse City,” former foundation president, and life-long believer in putting children at the center of education. An outsider to education by trade (formerly a labor law attorney and non-profit leader) but a passionate advocate for equity and system-wide change, Raymond implemented bold initiatives to transform the school district around a vision that focused on supporting the whole child. Highlights included transforming some of the district’s poorest performing schools in the neediest neighborhoods to some of the highest performing, raising graduation rates, expanding early education, summer learning programs, dual-language programs, college and career pathways, and introducing salad bars and healthier meals, and social and emotional learning to the curriculum. He most recently served as president of the Stuart Foundation in San Francisco.

Equity is Empathy in Action

When we strive to give each child what they need, when we show them they matter and have a voice, when we position learning differences as normal, promote creativity, and reward collaboration and continuous improvement, outcomes for children improve.

Lenny Schad

Chief Information and Innovation Officer in Residence

Lenny Schad

Lenny Schad is the chief information and innovation officer for District Administration. Schad has been working in the technology field for 28 years where his career has taken him into many business sectors, and he has established a very successful leadership and management track record. His range of business-sector experience includes hospitality, government, oil and gas, investment banking, and education.

Highlights of his career include managing and leading technology departments for the 1991 Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations and the 1992 Republican National Convention, and creating and managing technology departments for joint ventures and global organizations. Schad has worked in K12 education since 2003, and has successfully led implementations of BYOD and 1-to-1 in Katy ISD and Houston ISD, respectively. He is a board member for CoSN and IMS Global, and is a recognized leader whose innovative and process-oriented management styles have led to highly effective information technology departments.

The Changing Role of the CIO

The leaders of technology divisions must begin thinking of their role not in terms of providing “Technology Solutions” rather, they need to think of their role as being part of the “Classroom Experience.” As a technology leader you must face a new reality; because of the many cloud-based and digital service offerings, the organization can build their own solutions without you and your department. In order to avoid this CIO’s need to focus their time and energy on building relationships at every level in the organization. By establishing relationships and partnering with other leaders the technology department becomes the enabler to accomplishing the objectives in this changing landscape.

Mario Willis

Superintendent, Hollandale School District

Mario Willis

Dr. Willis has an unyielding belief that every child has the potential to achieve at high levels. He believes that hard work, consistency, high expectations, and accountability provide students with the optimal environment to experience success.

Dr. Willis has demonstrated his commitment to children and education by serving as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, and principal. Dr. Willis has worked on all educational levels in rural, suburban, and urban settings. Most recently, Dr. Willis served as Principal of Trezevant High School in Memphis, TN.

Dr. Willis was instilled with strong educational values and he has worked to develop his strong foundation in education.  Mr. Willis holds a Bachelor’s and Masters from Alcorn State University. He also holds an Ed.S. and Ed. D. from Delta State University. In addition, Dr. Willis is also a 2008 (Cohort 8) graduate of New Leaders for New Schools, 2015 Relay Graduate School of Education graduate of the National Principal Academy Fellowship, and a 2016 Mississippi School Boards Association graduate of the Prospective Superintendent Leadership Academy.

I enjoy playing baseball, basketball, kayaking, and spending time with my family. I believe that because you only live life once; you should have fun and love what you are doing.

Pedro Martinez

CEO, Chicago Public Schools

Pedro Martinez

Prior to joining CPS, CEO Martinez served as the Superintendent of the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD), where he was focused on academic excellence, talent recruitment, culture shift, stakeholder engagement, and strong fiscal management – five priorities that are closely aligned to the CPS 5-year vision. Prior to his time at SAISD, Mr. Martinez served as Superintendent in Residence for the Nevada Department of Education, where he was responsible for advising the Governor’s office and the State Superintendent of Instruction on education policy decisions. And before that, he served as superintendent for the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada.

As a data-driven leader with in-depth knowledge of academic reform strategies, he firmly believes that with the right supports, students can and will rise to any challenge, and that by setting the bar high, many more young people will demonstrate the aptitude and aspiration to perform at higher levels and be well-prepared for success in college, career, and civic life.

CEO Martinez earned his M.B.A. from DePaul University in Chicago and his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Illinois. He is also a graduate of the Broad Superintendent Academy.

Peter Gorman

Former Superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Peter Gorman

Dr. Peter Gorman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Peter Gorman Leadership Associates LLC, has been recognized nationally as an education leader and for developing outstanding leadership teams with more than 25 years of experience in education and business. He is the author of the book “Leading a School District Requires Clarity, Context, and Candor: An Aligned System to Increase Student Achievement at Scale” and contributing editor of “Board & Administrator” writing the lead column monthly. Along with his responsibilities at Peter Gorman Leadership Associates, Dr. Gorman is Superintendent in residence with the District Administration Leadership Institute where he serves as the Managing Director of the National Superintendents Academy delivering intensive instruction on the academic, political, legal and logistical complexities, and the demanding realities, confronting school leaders today. He is also Chief in residence with Chiefs For Change guiding the Future Chiefs program working to build a pipeline of “Future Chiefs” for states and districts.

Dr. Gorman’s career began as a second-grade teacher in Orlando, Florida. He worked as a teacher, principal, and district-level administrator in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties in Florida before becoming superintendent of schools in Tustin, California. In 2006, Dr. Gorman became superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina. Under his leadership, the district won the 2011 Broad Prize in Urban Education, which recognizes increases in student achievement and closing of achievement gaps. Twenty members of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Leadership Team during his tenure have been appointed as superintendents nationally. The book “Within Reach, Leadership Lessons in School Reform” chronicles his time with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and four other books reviewed aspects of his tenure along with numerous articles, research studies, and case studies. He then transitioned to the corporate world working as Executive Vice President of Education Services for Amplify, a division of News Corp, leading nearly 100 team members in the Government Relations, Marketing and Sales areas.

Terry Grier

Former Superintendent, Houston Independent School District

Terry Grier

In March 2016, after a 32-year career serving as a school superintendent across America, Dr. Terry Grier decided to retire as a school district leader.  From 2009 through 2016, he led the 216,000 Houston Independent School District—the seventh largest district in America.

In 2013, under Grier’s leadership, HISD became the first district in America to win the prestigious Broad Award a second time.  The award recognizes increases in student achievement and closing achievement gaps.  During his time in Houston, scholarship dollars offered to seniors increased from $52 to $313 million and graduation rates rose to all time highs.  In November 2012, Houston citizens approved a $1.9 billion construction bond (largest in history of Texas) by a 69 percent approval rate.  HISD’s PowerUp Digital Conversion program is widely considered to be the most successful in America and the district is widely known for its school choice program.

Grier has received numerous awards including The National Educator of the Year Award—presented by the Council of Great City Schools; East Carolina University and Vanderbilt University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award; the North Carolina and Texas’ State Superintendent of the Year Award; Education Week’s Leaders to Learn From Award; and, the National School Public Relations Association’s Bob Grossman Award.  He is most proud of receiving the Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award from the American Association of School Administrators for his support of women and minorities in education.

Since leaving the superintendency, he coaches several young superintendents, consults with a number of education related organizations and companies across the country and around the world, travels, and plays a little golf.

Eighty-one of the men and women who have worked with Dr. Grier have gone on to become school superintendents across America—22 from Houston ISD.

He and his wife Nancy live in Wilmington, NC. They have four grown children and two grandchildren.  They have a very cool dog, Cooper, and Nancy has a cat.

Tim Quinn

President, Quinn and Associates

Tim Quinn

Dr. Quinn has been recognized nationally as a pioneer in superintendent preparation, coaching and support.  In 1998, he founded the Michigan Leadership Institute and the Michigan SUPES Academy, which convened for the first time in 2000. Today, more than half of Michigan’s school superintendents have received leadership preparation through the SUPES Academy. Following the early success of the SUPES Academy, he was contracted by The Broad Foundation of Los Angeles, California, to serve as the founding Managing Director of The Broad Center for Superintendents and the Broad Superintendents Academy.  This Academy focused on preparing leaders across America for the superintendency of our nation’s largest and most challenging urban districts.

At the conclusion of 2010, he completed his work with both the Institute and The Broad Center.  Since that time, he has published four books on the topics of leadership, instructional leadership, governance, and the superintendent search process.

Throughout his career, Quinn has also served as an English teacher and football coach, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and, at age 32, was appointed Superintendent of the 20,000-student Green Bay Public Schools in Wisconsin, a position he held for almost seven years.  He also served a term as Wisconsin’s Deputy State Superintendent and eight years as President of Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City.

Quinn holds a Ph.D. from The University of Michigan, and has been recognized with honorary doctoral degrees from Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan and Grand Valley State Universities for his leadership in the field of education.