Excitement is building for the 2013 Council Leadership Academy, the four-day professional development opportunity for International Reading Association (IRA) council leaders and future leaders entitled “Destination Success.”
The Academy features presenters who are highly-experienced literacy educators and business professionals with backgrounds in council governance and outreach issues including strategic planning, finance, advocacy, communications, and marketing.
Expert presenters include East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania Reading Department Chair and IRA President Maureen McLaughlin, New Jersey City University Professor and IRA President-Elect Jill Lewis-Spector, Judson University Professor and IRA Board Member Steven Layne. Also presenting are IRA Executive Director Marcie Craig Post, IRA Director of Government Relations Richard Long, IRA Director of Business Linda Marston, IRA Director of Marketing Stephen Sye, IRA Senior Writer and Content Strategist Lara Deloza, and IRA Leadership Development Associates Rayann Mitchell and Tiffany Sears.
Jill Lewis-Spector and Richard Long will be presenting in-depth sessions on current education legislation and policy and how to interact with government officials on local, state, and federal levels.
“We can see that the combination of budget cuts, de-professionalization of teachers, and new policy directions for public schools have negatively impacted literacy programs and instruction, and have ultimately harmed students’ literacy progress,” says Lewis-Spector. “We must advocate for change to bring more positive results for ourselves, our students, and our schools. Council leaders and, in fact all educators, should realize how they, their students, and their profession can benefit from being education advocates. Advocating together can bring positive results and contribute to building new, rewarding, and exciting professional communities.”
Council members challenged with reaching their membership or confused by all of the social media options will benefit from the communications session with Lara Deloza and Tiffany Sears.
“The most important thing about our session is that communication plans are not ‘one size fits all.’ That’s why our session isn’t either,” says Sears. “Attendees will leave with a practical plan developed with their specific needs in mind.”
Deloza adds, “Participating in social media is no longer optional. The good thing is that social media provides various avenues by which councils can engage and grow membership. [A common] misconception is that developing a communication plan that includes social media is hard. Another misconception is that it costs a lot of money and takes a lot of time to implement these programs. The session will demystify social media and provide attendees with practical tools to craft a solid communication program.”
Rayann Mitchell leads a strategic planning session on Friday and teams with the other presenters throughout the Academy for strategic planning sessions and roundtables. Council leaders in attendance will be close to finalizing their strategic plans by the end of the Academy.
“The session ‘Oh the Places You Will Go’ on Friday is on strategic planning, focusing on big priorities, and utilizing the leadership team to accomplish wildly important goals,” Mitchell says. “Participants will take away both a one-word inspirational focus for the year and a four step plan for executing strategy within their councils to achieve success.”
The presenters will help council leaders discern their challenges and develop clear objectives during several interactive sessions throughout the Academy.
“We can't keep doing things the way we've always done them and expect different results,” Mitchell explains. “If we are going to survive and thrive, we have to create a new model of functioning—one that is responsive to our members’ needs and respects the values, skills, and talents of a new generation of leaders. The type of [strategic] planning that we are suggesting still contains long-range goals and short-term objectives, but it utilizes the acronym SMARTEST (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely & tangible, engaging, shifting, and team effort) to give leaders the flexibility to adjust as needed. Participants will learn the power of laser-light focus on a few wildly important goals and the achievement that results.”
See the complete program schedule on the Council Leadership Academy webpage.
Space is still available for the Council Leadership Academy, which will be held June 27 to 30, 2013, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Find more information and register on the Council Leadership Academy webpage.