NHSAA | Granite State Leadership Academy

The New Hampshire School Administrators Association, founded in 1941, is committed to fostering and supporting outstanding educational leadership in New Hampshire at all levels. In partnership with the NH Department of Education, NHSAA has established the Granite State Leadership Academy, which is intended to build highly skilled leadership capacity throughout the state.

New Hampshire needs and deserves to have leaders who:
  • Have a powerful vision

  • Aim for and achieve extraordinary results

  • Demonstrate exceptional skill

  • Possess steadfast will

  • Champion the needs of all NH children

We believe that the Granite State Leadership Academy will be the foundation upon which the new generation of New Hampshire educational leaders will be built.

Academy Overview

The Granite State Leadership Academy is designed specifically to provide a rich, collegial cohort opportunity for all educators who aspire to become an educational leader in New Hampshire. This highly selective multi-year program will focus on developing transformative leaders at all levels who will inspire sustainable efforts to lift student achievement for all children and to enable public schools to thrive and succeed.

The Academy will focus on exploring and developing the skills, knowledge and commitment needed to succeed as an educational leader, regardless of formal role. Program faculty members are highly successful NH leaders who have served at the classroom, building, and systems levels, and will provide multiple perspectives on effective leadership. Emphasis will be placed on the value of coaching and mentoring as an important link between academic and practical preparation.

The Academy curriculum will focus on educational leadership within a competency-based context over a three (3) year period, helping educational leaders:

  • Develop strategic and systemic processes for sustained school improvement;

  • Empower instructional leadership teams;

  • Build and sustain a collaborative learning culture and a shared decision-making structure in their schools;

  • Coach teachers and leaders about how to use student data and developmental theory in order to enrich classroom instruction;

  • Foster effective communication with colleagues, families and citizens;

  • Increase the effectiveness of student improvement plans;

  • Build strong governance teams and policies; and

  • Create an ethical culture of high achievement

Academy Fellows will gain increased awareness of the importance of building and nurturing relationships and effective communication with school board members, elected and appointed officials, parents, the media, and the community at large. Academy Fellows will expand and refine their existing leadership skills, acquire new skills, and learn about the search and interview process, conducting contract negotiations, and entry planning. Session facilitators will present strategies designed to cultivate balance in managing their professional and personal lives.

Academy Fellows will recognize the complexities and responsibilities of “equal responsibility” as required under federal and New Hampshire state laws that govern student services including, but not limited to, special education and Section 504. Fellows will also identify potential pitfalls and areas of liability as well as recognize best practices that support students’ educational growth targets. Academy Fellows will identify strategies used by effective school districts to narrow the achievement gap between students with educational disabilities and their peers without educational disabilities. In addition, Fellows will be able to identify the qualities of an effective school environment that supports the social-emotional, academic and personal development of each child from preschool through high school.

Academy Fellows will engage in readings; small group discussions; voice of experience conversations with seated, recently appointed, and retired distinguished educational leaders at all levels; simulations; mock interviews; problems of practice; and analyses of case studies. Each Academy Fellow will identify and interact with a mentor/coach and keep a reflective journal. Final products will include an entry plan for the first 90 days on the job as a leader and a reflective synopsis that identifies new awareness of the leader’s role and the application of what has been learned.

Experienced, effective school leaders would teach all sessions and each participant will be paired with a coach for guidance at the end of the cohort and beyond.

NHSAA will award a certificate for successful completion of the program.