HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Leaders walk among us in our school districts, and William Carey University’s CEO Leadership Academy is helping those educators become the best they can be.
Academy leader Dr. Chuck Benigno explains the true meaning behind the program.
“The spirit of this program is first of all networking, and we try to have leaders from all over the state of Mississippi. But inside the curriculum, we look at school law. We look at instructional best practices. We look at how to break down data. But most importantly, we look at self-awareness. Where are you as a leader, and where do you need to grow,” said Benigno.
Tonsa Vaughn, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Hattiesburg Public School District, explains the advantages she gained through the academy.
“Research-based tips, strategies learned, some of the foremost strategies in how you lead first. Leadership means to go first, and with that, we’re exposed to leadership qualities that prepared us to be the very best,” says Vaughn.
With COVID-19 creating problems for districts to return this upcoming school year, Vaughn says being in this program is allowing her to lean on others in the academy.
“We have been able to lean upon one another, especially with COVID-19, and my colleges and I definitely been having to reach out to each other, in the CEO Academy, that group has definitely been very instrumental in the support system,” said Vaughn.
" As we reflect on our style of leadership, can we look through the lens of what parents are facing right now? Can we look through a school leader is what teachers are going through, and can we look through the lens of what students are going through? That’s what empathy is all about, and those leaders who have this type of empathetic mindset are the ones that can create great schools,” said Benigno.
Due to COVID-19, the CEO Leadership Academy is keeping face-to-face contact to a minimum and plans to utilize Zoom meetings for the program.
Candidates can apply online at https://www.mspreps.org/. The deadline to apply is July 30.