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Council Launches Leadership Development Program For Aspiring Urban Superintendents

FOR RELEASE                                                         CONTACT: Tonya Harris

                              January 19, 2023                                                                 


Council Launches Leadership Development Program

For Aspiring Urban Superintendents


WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 – The Council of the Great City Schools is launching an urban superintendent preparation program designed to prepare future-ready superintendents to serve as the chief executive officer of a member district of the Council.


The Michael Casserly Urban Executive Leadership Institute for Aspiring Superintendents, named after the Council’s longtime former executive director, will be led by Michael Hinojosa, the Council’s Superintendent-in-Residence. Prior to joining the Council, Hinojosa was the superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District where he worked to increase the number of people of color and women in the district’s leadership ranks.


Ten senior level administrators in urban school districts have been selected to participate in the first cohort, which will begin in February and end in October. The inaugural cohort is ethnically diverse, with seven of the participants being educators of color.


Cohort members will receive instruction from Hinjosa as well as current and former superintendents who have had a history of success and significant tenure in a Council school district. Meetings will be held in person and will cover such topics as school board relations, academics, operations, finances, and labor relations. The participants did not apply to the program, but were recommended through a rigorous nomination and selection process. 


"The Michael Casserly Institute for Aspiring Superintendents will offer an intensive learning experience and a first class professional development opportunity for senior-level executives who desire to become a superintendent," said Hinojosa. "I'm very excited to give these participants an opportunity to receive valuable coaching and mentoring from successful superintendents who have been in the trenches and know what is needed to succeed in a tough environment. I truly believe with the variety of tools and skillsets we will give them through the Institute, members of the cohort will be well-prepared to take the reins and improve the nation's urban school systems."


"The Council is excited to train the next generation of urban school leaders and establish a pipeline of talented and diverse big-city school educators," said Council Executive Director Ray Hart. "I am excited by what lies ahead for the participants who comprise this inaugural cohort, and look forward to watching them succeed at the helm of our urban school districts and help our schoolchildren meet the the highest educational standards, while reducing turnover in the superintendent ranks." 


At the end of the eight-month program, participants will receive a certificate of completion from the Council to be presented at the organization’s Annual Fall Conference in San Diego in October.


The members of the cohort are:

  • Harold Border, Chief Strategy Officer, Orange County Public Schools
  • Arcelius Brickhouse, Chief of Schools, East Baton Rouge Parish Schools
  • Jermaine Dawson, Chief Academic and Accountability Officer, Birmingham City Schools
  • Ebony Johnson, Chief Learning Officer, Tulsa Public Schools
  • Brenda Larsen-Mitchell, Deputy Superintendent of Schools, Clark County School District
  • Robert Moore, Chief of Schools, Jefferson County Public Schools (KY)
  • Michael Ramirez, Chief of Staff, School District of Lee County (FL)
  • Scott Schneider, Chief of Schools, Duval County Public Schools (FL)
  • Matias Segura, Interim Superintendent, Austin Independent School District
  • David Zaid, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resource Services, Long Beach Unified School District



About The Council of the Great City Schools

The Council of the Great City Schools is the only national organization exclusively representing the needs of urban public schools.  Composed of 78 large city school districts, its mission is to promote the cause of urban schools and to advocate for inner-city students through legislation, research and media relations.  The organization also provides a network for school districts sharing common problems to exchange information, and to collectively address new challenges as they emerge to deliver the best possible education for urban youth.