In my work as a leadership coach, I find that leaders in the educational sector are facing the biggest challenges.  To help the community understand these challenges, this Friday at my Leaders Connect Breakfast, I will be hosting four of  the most prominent educational leaders in the state : Dr. Jeanice Swift, Ann Arbor Schools Superintendent; Dr. Nikolai Vitti, Detroit Schools Superintendent; Christine Stead, President of Ann Arbor School Board; and Dr. Elizabeth Birr Moje, Dean of the University of Michigan School of Education.  If you would like to sign up and have not yet done so, there are still some seats available (click here).  If you cannot attend we will be videotaping the session and will be happy to send it to you if you respond to this email with that request.

From my work with these leaders, here are some of the major challenges they face on a regular basis:

  1. Keeping children safe from guns in the schools.
  2. Keeping children safe emotionally and physically. A major challenge here is bullying.
  3. Providing teachers the resources and training they need to do their job well.
  4. Listening to the needs of a diverse set of parents, including those who are extremely stressed by financial concerns.
  5. Adapting in a timely manner to the changing role of technology in education.
  6. Recruiting students to become teachers, and teachers to come to districts with challenging circumstances.
  7. How to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population of students. Here we are talking not only about ethnic diversity, but also students with special needs.
  8. The problems of drugs in the schools. Currently, there is a epidemic of a vaping tobacco in the school restrooms.

These are just some of the multiple concerns that educational leaders face on a daily basis. I hope you can join us in our conversation this Friday to learn more about how our educational leaders are thinking about managing these problems and their hopes for the future.

If you have any questions you would like the panel to address, please submit them to me by Wednesday at

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