Connected Leadership Academy is led by six superintendents and top district leaders who have walked the walk of digital transformations in their own school districts. They’ll share stories about how they overcame challenges and made the digital shift in real life. Today we’re asking 2016 Wisconsin Superintendent of the Year Dr. Patricia Deklotz some questions about what it means to be a future ready leader, and why district leaders shouldn’t miss out on the Connected Leadership Academy.

What does being a future ready leader mean to you?

Patricia Deklotz

Dr. Patricia Deklotz, Superintendent, Kettle Moraine School District

Being a future reader leader means courageous leadership that is committed to equipping our students for their future. It requires the willingness to challenge the status quo and to recognize learning that occurs anytime, anywhere. A future ready leader understands the importance of student engagement and demonstrated competency of skills, valuing the individual strengths and differences that make us such a wonderfully diverse people.

What is collaborative leadership?

Collaborative leadership is respectful and earnest collective intelligence applied to practical matters of organizational learning. It finds its strength in shared vision and requires both culture and process to thrive.

What’s the most important attribute of a future ready leader? Why?

I cannot determine the most important attribute as there are a few, but it is only a few that truly matter. Clear vision, passionate commitment and tenacity, open, trusting, and respectful relationships, and transparent communication are all fundamental. The work of a future ready leader is that of a change agent and leading change is hard work. It requires trust and only occurs with time. Vision, commitment, relationships,and communication are the building blocks of trust. Without all four trust will be compromised and change will be challenged.

What is the most important step in the process of digital conversion?

The most important step in the process of digital conversation is telling the story of “why.” The future ready leader engages all stakeholders in telling that story. Digital conversation requires a robust infrastructure to guarantee access for all and developing the plan for the infrastructure requires technology experts.


What’s important to remember when facing challenges around digital conversion?

It is important to remember that you are not alone in dealing with challenges and there are solutions to be found. Those issues that are most important are often most difficult to accomplish but we should never waiver from the responsibility of providing our staff and students with the tools and opportunities that will equip them for success.

Who is this academy for?

Connected Leadership Academy is for leaders and teams of leaders who want to engage outside experts in thinking smarter together. It is personalized learning for leaders who want to develop an action plan for their district, moving forward into a future ready state.

If someone was on the fence about participating, what would you say to them?

Whether weighing the time or the cost, the academy will be worth your investment. Informed practitioners and and expert coaches will support and guide your problem-solving process as you wrestle with next steps in leading your organization forward. Not a one-size-fits-all solution, you will be the architect and designer of the solutions you bring forward, informed by the experience and insights of individuals who are traveling this same journey.

Get involved and join us at the kickoff event this September

Districts need a strategic, common sense plan to guide their path toward digital transformation.Connected Leadership Academy is the answer. You’ll benefit from other superintendents who have been there, and learn from their mistakes and challenges.

Start transforming your district now.

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About Dr. Deklotz

Dr. Patricia Deklotz is superintendent of Kettle Moraine School District, a K-12 district serving 4,200 students in southeastern Wisconsin. Her district is transforming schools to better and more efficiently meet the needs of all students through personalized learning. Recent initiatives include three charter high schools and one elementary charter, a Youth Apprenticeship Advanced Manufacturing Certificate diploma, a multi-age, interdisciplinary, project-based middle school learning environment, personalized professional development through teacher micro-credentials and educator career pathways. She recently led a successful $49.6M bond referendum, the largest on the ballot in the state, to the address capital maintenance, safety and security, technology infrastructure, and renovated learning space needs in all district school buildings. An advocate for continuous improvement and the use of international benchmarks, Pat is leading her district in their work to recognize competency-base learning progression. She was recently named the 2016 Wisconsin Superintendent of the Year.

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During a 25-year education career, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach has been a classroom teacher, technology coach, charter school principal, district administrator, university instructor and digital learning consultant. Sheryl is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Powerful Learning Practice, where she works with schools and districts from around the world to re-envision their learning cultures and communities through the Connected Learner Experience and other e-learning opportunities. She is the author (with Lani Ritter Hall) of The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age (Solution Tree, 2012) and serves on the ISTE Board of Directors.
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