Pleasanton ISD Superintendent Dr. Matthew Mann was nominated and selected to attend the Thompson Executive Leadership Institute (TELI) in Austin.
Dr. Mann had heard about the prestigious program from other superintendents he had networked with. They shared that if the opportunity ever came up for him to take part in TELI, it was definitely worth his while.
He received a phone call and email from Jeff Goldhorn, the Executive Director of Region 20. Goldhorn said that he wanted Dr. Mann to be Region 20’s nominee for the TELI program.
Dr. Mann is one of 25 superintendents to receive an academic scholarship to attend the Superintendent Academy, a Senior Executive Leadership program for school superintendents from the South and Southwest United States. To be selected, you must have been nominated by school leaders in your state, must have met a set of rigorous screening criteria and must have been judged by the screening committee to have a leadership skill set that will add value to the discussions among their fellow cohort members.
The program includes a total of seven training sessions, with five in Austin, one in San Antonio and a field trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Sessions are held monthly from September of 2021 to March of 2022.
A Visioning Session is scheduled for Feb. 18-20 in San Antonio, which board members are encouraged to attend.
“The whole idea is that it is leaders of leaders. Typically, the criteria that they’re really looking for is a superintendent that has had some experience, but who also is looked at by others, such as their peers, as a leader within that,” said Dr. Mann. “I attribute that very much on the work we’re already doing here at Pleasanton and taking some of the forward thinking and going beyond what others are doing.”
Dr. Mann continued, “That’s because I have a fabulous leadership team that I work with and I’ve really sought out people that think in those terms of doing whatever it takes for students to succeed. I think it’s very evident in the leadership that I have around me. My executive leadership team and the campus principals, they’re all in that mode.”
Dr. Mann is looking forward to the program and networking with this elite group of leaders and other superintendents. He is excited about the collaboration and opportunity to learn more.
“There’s going to be speakers and different activities that we do. It’s exciting and neat to be able to bring that data to the school and county, and be able to leverage that for our district and for others around us, too,” said Dr. Mann.
He added that Charlotte ISD Superintendent Mario Sotelo has attended TELI.
“He said, if I ever had the opportunity to attend, that it was an excellent program. I have high regard for Mario. He’s been a great asset to me as a professional, so I call on him quite a bit,” Dr. Mann said.
While he does not know what kind of experience it will be, he was flattered to be nominated and chosen for TELI.
“It’s kind of an homage to what we were doing here. I like to see that we are getting recognition in the region for some of the curriculum and instructional items, but more than that I think we’re creating a system and a process here that’s going to sustain itself. I hope the taxpayers and the parents and the other stakeholders are proud of the work that we’ve done to do that,” said Dr. Mann. “We really take our obligation to make sure that we are good fiscal agents of the money that the taxpayers give us, but also that we’re doing right educationally, and really trying to capitalize on all of the things, and all of the resources around us, and really just put in the work that’s needed.”
Dr. Mann said he is proud of everyone that works at PISD, as well as the students and their parents. He is especially proud of how so many participated in the summer learning programs.
“It’s not easy to give up your summer to come to summer programs when it’s only six weeks long and you give up three weeks of it, half of it to come here. We made those extra phone calls and called people and said, ‘Your child needs it. We need you to be here, and can you can make it.’ They’ve really stepped up and we had what we needed. So we’re very proud of that.”