Cleveland’s Director of City Schools Dr. Martin Ringstaff has been accepted into the American Association of School Administrators’ National Superintendent Certification Program.
Ringstaff and 27 other superintendents were chosen to participate in the first cohort. The two-year program will challenge educators from across the country to use their position of leadership to benefit their school systems.
“I think it would be really interesting to see how other states are dealing with issues,” Ringstaff said.
“We will probably come from different ends of the spectrum on how we deal with things, so I am expecting very in-depth conversations.”
Each session over the four-day meetings will include: whole group instruction, activities for individuals and groups and the development of problem-solving skills. The practices will be used to discuss the role of the superintendent alongside the school district, employees and the school board. In addition, participants will be coached on managing resources, building relationships, managing people, budgets and managing change.
While Ringstaff said there will be no time for vacation activities during the meetings, he said the meetings will open the door for social networking.
“I will have 27 other individuals I can pick up the phone and call,” Ringstaff said. “If we are doing something they like, then we can send it to them, as well.”
He reiterated the networking aspect of the AASA program is huge.
Dan Domenech, AASA executive director, explained in a letter why the program is important for American school systems.
“The difficulty of the job [superintendents] do and the intricacy of the interlocking issues that you face as a leader in public education today only increases,” Domenech said.
“This year alone, we have all experienced economic short-falls; threats to student safety; policy issues including those of testing, evaluation and services to special need students; and continuing assaults on our integrity and ability.”
Domenech noted, “Our coming together to seek ways to face these challenges seems imperative. Our conversations will be important.”
Conversation among the participants will deal with local occurrences and national topics, like Common Core.
According to Ringstaff, the superintendent’s job has undergone change in the last 10 years. The position is different than it will be in five years. Participants will discuss how they can be most effective as superintendents today and tomorrow.
Ringstaff said he believes the program will positively impact Cleveland City Schools.
“It is me that is in the project and getting the certification, but this is not about me,” Ringstaff said. “It is about what I can do to be better at being in the capacity of being a superintendent for the school.”
He said Cleveland schools are already doing well.
“We are all heading in the right direction. That is a whole team approach,” Ringstaff said. “The principals are really coming together and the teachers are knocking it out of the park. This type of program will just give us more tools in our belt.”
Ringstaff will attend his first meeting in July.