KASB’s Leadership for Tomorrow class headed west

KASB’s Leadership for Tomorrow (LFT) Class of 2017 will visit the Ness City and Garden City school districts this week to learn how western Kansas schools address their unique challenges. Class members will also learn how to communicate in times of crisis and lead their communities through change. 

The LFT western tour kicks off Thursday morning at Ness City High School, where USD 303 Superintendent Derek Reinhardt will showcase the school’s popular “tiny house” project that offers construction trades students a hands-on way to strengthen their building skills and learn practical applications for math, language arts and other academic standards. The Ness City High School tiny house project has been featured in state media stories and honored by the State Board of Education. Reinhardt will also talk about how his rural district tackles budget and employment challenges and opportunities.  

Thursday afternoon’s LFT session will feature crisis communications and training by KASB’s Carol Pitts and Leah Fliter. Pitts and Fliter will walk class members through hypothetical school crises and discuss how school leaders can and should communicate accurately and effectively with the media and their community. Class members will then be videotaped in an “interview” which they can use to assess their new skills. 

On Friday, the class heads to Garden City USD 457 and Buffalo Jones Elementary School. The educational leaders will learn about the district’s “Grow Your Own” teacher recruitment and retention program that helps keep aspiring local educators and staff in the community and will tour the school’s Elementary Spanish learning track. They’ll also learn more about USD 457’s math and reading programs and its Illuminate student progress system. 

Garden City High School will host a discussion of postsecondary opportunities and success for Kansas students. Class members will also tour the school’s academies, which are “schools within a school” that focus on public service, arts and communications and trade and health. 

KASB Leadership staff Brian Jordan and Gary Sechrist will work with the class to reflect on and discuss change leadership theories. Members will share their observations and discuss how they can use what they’ve learned to better lead their communities through change.  

The LFT Class of 2017’s final sessions will be Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 in Wichita, followed by graduation and recognition at KASB’s 100th Annual Convention. 

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