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January/February 2014

Fellowship status rewards continued learning
By Sandra Kwasa

The question for this issue is answered by Sandra Kwasa, IASB director of board development.

Question: What does it mean to be a LeaderShop Academy Fellow?

Answer: IASB promotes and recognizes board member efforts toward continuous learning and professional development with two programs — The IASB School Board LeaderShop Academy (which leads to becoming an Academy Fellow) and Master Board Member.

School Board LeaderShop is a series of workshops for learning and networking. The workshops provide the knowledge, skills and resources that both new and veteran board members need to lead their districts.

School board members are admitted into the School Board LeaderShop Academy by completing a minimum of three workshops:

• The Basics of Governance

• One additional “core” workshop

• Either a third core workshop or an “elective” workshop

Maintaining Academy membership requires completing at least one additional core or elective workshop every two years.

Core workshops are directly related to the six IASB Foundational Principles of Effective Governance. Core topics include such topics as basics of governance, school law and finance, the role of boards in democracy, detecting a compelling vision, monitoring district performance, among others.

Elective workshops focus on additional skills that promote effective district leadership. Elective topics include issue-related workshops (e.g., collective bargaining, parliamentary procedures) and interpersonal/skill development programs (e.g., diversity and inclusion awareness, Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory).

Once admitted into the Academy, members may attain the status of Academy Fellow by completing a total of seven core and five elective workshops. Board members who maintain their Fellowship designation until they retire or leave their boards are awarded Member Emeritus status.

IASB is proud to recognize 1,199 Academy members representing all 21 IASB divisions. Of these, 41 are Academy Fellows.

Upon admission, Academy members receive a LeaderShop Academy pen. Academy Fellows receive a plaque recognizing their achievement and are invited to serve in advisory and/or mentoring positions. The names of Members Emeritus are displayed on a permanent honor roll displayed at the IASB office in Springfield and receive a lifelong subscription to IASB publications.

Additionally, all Academy members are invited to a special biennial symposium, designed especially for them. The next symposium will be June 21, 2014, at the Westin Chicago Northwest in Itasca. The keynote speaker will be John Draper, former teacher and school administrator, and consultant to the National School Public Relations Association. He will facilitate an interactive discussion on “Crucial Conversations about America’s Schools.”

To learn more about IASB’s School Board LeaderShop Academy, visit the IASB website at:

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