School & District Management Live Online Discussion

A Seat at the Table: The Complicated Role of the Superintendent

Tue., February 22, 2022, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET
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Everyone seems to have an opinion about how districts (and schools) should be run, but it’s the superintendent who takes the heat for the decisions, even when they don’t make them. Even under normal conditions, district leaders are criticized for what gets taught, how taxpayer money is spent, and why a school has—or doesn’t—have a snow day.

But, today, running a district has become even more complex and difficult as the coronavirus and public health guidelines continue to evolve, school board relationships become more fraught, and challenges from parents and staffing shortages mount.

Join Peter DeWitt and his superintendent guests—Mike Nelson, Theresa Rouse, and Morcease J. Beasley—as they discuss their management lessons in the current climate.

Mike Nelson
Assistant Executive Director for Professional Learning, Washington Association of School Administrators
Michael (Mike) Nelson began his career as an elementary school teacher before becoming an elementary school principal. As a district leader, he led learning initiatives in two Washington state school districts. As the superintendent for Washington’s Enumclaw school district, he led several initiatives to improve cultural support and academic outcomes for Native students. In 2019, the Washington Association of School Administrators named him the Washington State Superintendent of the Year.
Theresa Rouse, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Joliet Public Schools District 86 in Illinois
Theresa Rouse is in her sixth year as the superintendent of Joliet Public Schools District 86 in Illinois. The district serves nearly 10,000 pre-K through 8th grade students, 91 percent of whom are students of color with universal access to free and reduced-price meals. Rouse has 30 years of educational experience as a teacher, principal, county-level administrator, and district superintendent.

Morcease J. Beasley, Ed.D.
Superintendent/CEO, Clayton County Public Schools, Georgia
Morcease J. Beasley serves as the superintendent/chief executive officer of Clayton County public schools in Georgia. He has worked for more than two decades in public education in both urban and suburban districts. Beasley holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Montevallo, a master’s degree in mathematics education from Samford University, and a doctorate in education with an emphasis in educational leadership from Samford University.
Peter DeWitt
Opinion Contributor, Education Week
A former K-5 public school principal turned author, presenter, and leadership coach, Peter DeWitt provides insights and advice for education leaders. He pens an opinion blog for Education Week, Finding Common Ground and is the host of A Seat at the Table.

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