Insights on the Importance of Networking in the Life of Current and Future District Leaders
Mike Daria currently serves as Superintendent of Tuscaloosa City Schools in Alabama, a direct of 10,600 students (Pre-K-12). Mike describes his involvement in the certification program as a powerful opportunity for both professional and personal growth: “I serve as superintendent in a community that is eager to change outcomes for each and every student. As a new superintendent, I wanted a learning experience and a professional network that pushed and challenged me to grow into becoming a highly effective superintendent so that my district can thrive. I decided to join the AASA National Superintendents Certification Program because my students and school system deserve the best and this network is allowing me to grow professionally in so many ways.
“Participation in the AASA National Superintendents Certification Program has allowed me to broaden my thinking and actions by networking with colleagues in a purposeful and intentional way. I have found it to be so rewarding to have an extended professional network of colleagues from across our country to share innovative ideas, engage in critical dialogues on issues facing education, and in solving complex problems.
“The experience is an effective blend of research and practice. We engage with proven superintendents who are thought leaders and who are making significant changes in student outcomes. I have taken ideas and strategies from our sessions and immediately applied them to my district. You know it is effective when the professional learning immediately translates to actions that improve your school system.
“I have also been fortunate to establish professional relationships with visionary and thought-provoking leaders who are eager to share and learn from each other. This professional learning community is the most valuable experience that has provided me with ideas to improve my district and to expand my thinking in so many areas.”