CASDA Virtual Educational Leadership 

Support and professional development for educational leaders. 

We know educational leaders are busy and that the leadership can be a lonely position. Though you recognize the need to collaborate with colleagues and the value of ongoing professional growth, finding the time is often the biggest challenge.

CASDA is offering a solution to meet your professional needs. The CASDA Virtual Educational Leadership Collaborative allows you to choose when and where you get your professional development and how often you want to participate. At no charge to you or your district, you will receive the following:

  • Podcasts on relevant topics, five to seven minutes in length, delivered via email every week.

  • An opportunity to collaborate with colleagues through a Google group.

  • Supporting research and resources to keep the learning going at a pace comfortable to you.

  • Access to CASDA's Virtual Leadership Conference held annually featuring regional practitioners sharing best practices, university professors sharing the latest research in education, and CASDA faculty sharing years of experience in the field. You can "attend" these virtual workshops based on your schedule with no travel hassles or costs.



We hope that this new approach to bringing educational leaders together will be valuable to you as you work to meet your professional development needs. Click here to join our Google group now, or feel free to reach out to CASDA Executive Director Michael Piccirillo at 518.512.5198 ext. 6222 or email at with any questions.

Episode 17: Lean Forward 
In this episode, Mike draws parallels between the five elements of "Chi Running": run tall, lean forward, land on mid-foot, run from the core, and relax line up with principles of effective leadership. This comparison connection emphasizes the need for balance for sustainable progress leading educational organizations. We'd love to hear your thoughts! Have a great summer!
Lean Forward -
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Episode 16: Protective Factors
Using the lens of his June, 2017 commencement address, Mike uses this week's podcast to reflect on the protective factors and relationships that helped him overcome adversity. He cites research out of Georgetown University that finds that the presence of protective factors in students' lives are often powerful predictors of future success. Finally, he asserts that it is the responsibility of educators to strive to provide these protective factors to students in need. Please click here to share your thoughts on protective factors. 
Protective Factors -
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Episode 15: Confronting the Dropout Stigma
In this week's special episode, Mike is joined by CASDA faculty member Gregg Weinlein who spent the entirety of his 36 year career working with at-risk students. They discuss graduation rates, interventions, and how schools and the education system often fails and then stigmatizes its most vulnerable students. What are your thoughts on graduation? And what are you doing to serve the students in your district with the greatest needs? We'd love for you to share! 
Confronting the Dropout Stigma -
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Episode 14: The August Graduate
This week, Mike shares a moving story of a student who overcame systemic inequities to graduate in August. He questions the efficacy of relying on 4-year graduation rates as a benchmark for district accountability and success. What are your thoughts on August graduation? Do you think that 4-year graduation rates meaningfully reflect a school's educational efforts? We would love to hear from you.  Click here to share your thoughts!
The August Graduate -
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Episode 13: Making Our School Truly Safe 
This week, Mike reflects on the shooting at Columbine High School in 1999, how ideas about school safety have evolved since that tragic event and how making schools truly safe for all students requires positive relationships grounded in empathy. What do you think it will take to make our schools truly safe? Click here to share your thoughts!
Making Our Schools Truly Safe -
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Episode 12: Leadership Communication
This week, Mike discusses the importance of educational leaders actively communicating with their school community, and shares three effective frames for thinking about the communications process. Please click here to share your thoughts on the relationship between effective communication and dynamic leadership. 
Leadership Communication -
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Episode 11: Finding Your Leadership Voice
This week, Mike discusses the evolution of his leadership voice and reflects on its roots in both childhood and early professional experiences. He also emphasizes the need to empower students to find their voice and develop agency so that they can become the leaders of tomorrow.  Please click here to share your journey in developing your leadership voice! 
Finding Your Leadership Voice -
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Episode 10: The Reading Leader 
This week, Mike shares how Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man sparked his interest in literature and how "Aqualung" by Jethro Tull helped him relate to poetry.  He also explores NYSED's recent Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education guidelines and encourages educators to seek out texts and delivery platforms that engage with the culture of our diverse youth. How does what you read influence your leadership? Please click here to share! 
The Reading Leader -
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Episode 9: Intentionality 
This week, Mike discusses the foundation of his approach to leading with intentionality. He shares how his childhood shaped the "who" and "why" he brought to his work as an educational leader. Please click here to share what guides your intentionality as you serve the students in your district. 
Intentionality -
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Episode 8: "In Case of Emergency... "
This episode continues Mike's discussion of the social-emotional needs of educators. He reflects on how despite his perception that he effectively "compartmentalized," his work stress and frustration impacted his home and family. Please click here to share your experience with work/life balance and your thoughts on the role of self-care in educators' professional practice. 
"In Case of Emergency..." -
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Episode 7: The Social-Emotional Learning Needs of Educational Leaders
In the latest episode, Mike reflects on a period during his career where personal loss and professional responsibility took a toll on his social-emotional well-being. Please click here to share an instance where you struggled to balance personal and professional obligations or a strategy you use to support your mental and emotional health. 
The Social Emotional Learning Needs of Educational Leaders -
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Episode 6: What Good Schools Can Do for Communities
In the latest episode, Mike explores the relationship between  superintendents of schools and the communities they serve. He  discusses the use of community equity audits as a means of soliciting feedback from and developing strong relationships with community members. Click here to read more on community equity audits and here to share how you engage your communities!
What Good Schools Can Do for Communities -
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Episode 5: The Pedagogy of Hope
In the fifth episode of this series, Mike digs into the work of C.R. Snyder on hope theory both as it relates to student achievement and as a component of an equity-centered, culturally responsive education. Click here to read more and here to share your thoughts on the role of hope theory in supporting students. 
Pedagogy of Hope -
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Episode 4: Start with Who
Our fourth episode contemplates how educators must reflect and examine their own identities, privileges and relationships to power if they are going to meaningfully advance the cause of equitable education for all students. Please click here to share your reflections on this sensitive but urgent topic. 
Start with Who -
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Episode 3: Embracing Bold Leadership
Our third podcast explores the necessity of bold leadership to advance equity and make positive and lasting change in schools. Click here to read more and here to share with your colleagues! 
Embracing Bold Leadership -
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Episode 2: Exploring Odds-Beating Schools 
Our second mini podcast discusses college and career readiness and its alignment with elements in culturally responsive schools.  Click here to share with your colleagues! 
Exploring Odds-Beating Schools -
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Episode 1: It's Time to Lay it All Out
The inaugural podcast in the Superintendent Virtual Collaborative Series introduces the group and explores feelings of isolation common to many superintendents. But you aren't alone! Click here to share with your colleagues! 
It's Time to Lay it All Out -
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University at Albany 
1400 Washington Ave
Catskill B27
Albany, NY 12222  

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