January 16th, 2021, 9:00am to 12pm pacific

CAAASA presents a panel of distinguished experts to share essential information about the Covid-19 vaccination process that will reduce apprehension within our communities and address unfounded rumors about the vaccine.

Challenges of Leading During COVID-19

A Special CAAASA African-American Leadership Academy

January 16th Leadership Academy Agenda

9:00am to 9:10am: Welcome and Framing – Michael Watkins

9:10am to 10am – Opening session


Dr. Michele Bowers

CAAASA President-Elect and Superintendent, Lancaster Unified School District


Mr. Michael H. Forde

Public Health Specialist and Author of “Success Begins From Where You Are!”


Dr. NanaEfua B. Afoh-Manin

Founder of myCovidMD and Shared Harvest Fund


Dr. Jann Murray-Garcia

Founding faculty member and associate clinical professor, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis

10:05am to 10:55am: Breakouts, Session One

11:00am to 11:50am: Breakouts, Session Two

1. Role and Responsibilities of a School Superintendent

Jabari Willis

Michael Watkins

Diane Marshall-Freeman

This workshop will focus on the impact that COVID-19 has had on the role and responsibilities of the District Superintendent and administrators. The pandemic has affected every aspect of school district programming including, instructional, educational, labor relations, and more. We will address how Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, and administration have had to regroup, adjust, and push forward through the obstacles posed by the pandemic. As the educational leader of the district, the superintendent has continued to focus on promoting success for all students, equity in education, and messages of unity for the Board, teachers and community during this crisis.

2. Women In Leadership – How To Swim In Muddy Waters in Difficult Times

Dr. Patricia Brent-Sanco

Dr. Judy White

Kimberly Hendricks-Brown

Women, especially minority women in School Leadership positions, face different challenges than their male counterparts. This workshop will focus on how to navigate these subtle and not- so-subtle differences. These presenters will share stories of how they navigated the ever-shifting educational and political landscape in order to achieve successful careers. Men will also find the career strategies to be helpful.

3. Pathways to Becoming a Successful School Leader

Dr. Frank Wells

Dr. Steven Dorsey

Tracy Thompson

The road to Chief level leadership can be very challenging for minorities. Only 6% of California’s student population is of African American descent.  As a result, most minority school Superintendents have to have a deep understanding of different cultures and how to navigate that landscape. You will hear the stories of three successful African American education leaders.

4. The Vital Role Played by Search Firms on Your Path to Becoming a School Leader

Teri Vigil

Will Ector

Eric Andrew

Most school districts will contract with a search firm to conduct and facilitate the screening process, when looking for a Superintendent or other school leaders   Search firms play a unique role.  It is critical that school leaders get to know these firms and their perspectives to be in a better position to pass the screening process and secure an interview.

5. CHANGE! The Only Thing Constant: Leading and Learning During COVID of Leadership For People of Color

Garth Lewis

Dr. Leilah Kirkendoll

No system would self-impose a monumental adaptation of its operations within a 72-hour period, yet this is exactly what schools across the state of California were forced to embrace in March of 2020. Our ability to lead through this significant pivot demonstrated that we have the capacity to change. The core leadership challenge educators now face is to recognize the need to accelerate learning for students who have been historically underserved, and provide tools for the adults who are responsible for their learning. Rapidly changing contexts and systemic structures are part of our current reality and likely the manner in which leadership will be defined in this moment, and into the future. Attendees of this workshop will be introduced to a set of key leadership “nuggets” that empower leaders at all levels.

11:50am to 12:00pm:  Close out remarks – Michael Watkins

Sponsored by: