Leaders from across Spring ISD gathered at Dekaney High School on Monday morning, to kick off the 2022 Summer Leadership Institute, which will continue through Thursday, June 16.
The event – featuring four days of keynote speakers, breakout sessions, training, and networking – kicked off two weeks of dedicated professional development this summer for both administrators and teachers. The Summer Teacher Institute will take place next month.
“This last year was rough. However, we are Spring ISD,” Superintendent Dr. Lupita Hinojosa said. “We acknowledge that, and then we plan forward.”
Dr. Hinojosa opened the Summer Leadership Institute by explaining the vision to move forward, including the realignment of values within the district that will focus on student outcomes and educational equity. The motto for the 2022-2023 school year is Stay The Course, and Dr. Hinojosa is focused on three areas: student achievement, staff retention, and district culture.
The days and corresponding sessions of the Summer Leadership Institute were also reflective of Dr. Hinojosa’s vision to help foster joy, reconnection, and empowerment. The theme of day one was The Joy of Learning, with Brandon P. Fleming, a college dropout turned assistant debate coach at Harvard University, as a keynote speaker. Day two will be focused on The Joy of Lifting, with Doug Lemov, an author and founder of Teach Like a Champion, as the keynote speaker. Day three is all about the Joy of Leading, with Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, a veteran and author as well as a motivational speaker, as keynote speaker. And the last day will focus on The Joy of Living, with Jill Sharp, a performance coach and motivator, as the keynote speaker.
Monday’s keynote speaker, Brandon P. Fleming, was a drug dealer and college dropout when the empathy and compassion of a teacher changed the course of his life forever, eventually putting him on the road to join the ranks at Harvard University and travel the world as a motivational speaker and author.
“The entire trajectory of my life was changed by the compassion of one teacher,” Fleming said. “She put my humanity first. She saw me as a human before seeing me as just a student. Academics did not change me. Education did not change me. Love is what changed me. Empathy is what changed me.”
For Dr. Hinojosa, her focus kept returning to the “why” of teachers and campus leaders.
“It’s time for us to anchor on our ‘why,’” she told the audience. “Why we come every single day to school. Why we work every, tirelessly for our kids. That “why” is that we are focused on being able to provide excellent and equitable outcomes for all of our students, regardless of where they come from or what they’ve been through before coming to our schools.”