Women’s leadership celebrated at Spring WLN event

The ACSA Regions 2-4 Annual Spring Women’s Leadership Network Event has become one of the north state’s biggest and best one-day celebrations. There’s always an important guest speaker, and it’s an evening to celebrate Outstanding Women Leader award recipients.

OWLs this year are Nevada JUHSD Superintendent Louise Bennicoff Johnson, Region 2; retired assistant superintendent and former state ACSA President Lillie Campbell, Region 3; and Konocti USD Superintendent Donna Becnel, Region 4. Each has a remarkable history in public education.

Johnson began her career at Temple City and Corcoran high schools, teaching chemistry, geology and physics. She always enjoyed going the extra mile for students, coaching Academic Decathlon teams, leading Yosemite trips, advising science club, and leading the local chapter of California Interscholastic Federation. Her first principalship was at Bret Harte Elementary School in Corcoran. She moved into district administration in 1996 as K-12 director of curriculum and instruction for Dinuba USD, where she was later promoted to assistant superintendent, overseeing all aspects of the instructional program and human resources.

In early 2004, she took her first superintendency in Konocti USD, where she was heralded for a significant increase in student achievement and new programs for students with disabilities and English learners. From there, she moved to superintendent in Ripon USD and then on to Nevada Joint Union High School District. Throughout her career she has been recognized for building strong leadership teams and engaging communities.

Campbell has been a mentor to many administrators throughout her long and distinguished career. She was selected for the OWL award for her grace, style and persuasive insistence that women take calculated risks and push through barriers. She readily identifies young administrators and serves as a guide and advisor to them as they pursue excellence in their own careers.

She has led by example by breaking through glass ceilings at all levels as an African-American woman. Campbell has been a teacher, principal, director, assistant superintendent, board member, and board president. She has been an active ACSA member, holding nearly all leadership positions.

Although retired, Campbell is the state ACSA Member Services Recruitment Team member for Region 3 and attends nearly all of the region’s events – not because it is her assignment, but because she truly cares about promoting ACSA and recruiting exceptional administrators.

In the five years Becnel has been superintendent of Konocti USD, she has exemplified the highest levels of educational leadership. She has taken on a challenging district in one of the poorest counties in California and raised both expectations and educational outcomes for students, staff and families. Becnel nurtures a growth mindset environment in her district, particularly with women administrators, and provides her staff with opportunities for professional growth and career advancement.

She has been a champion for ACSA in both her district and the local Lake County Charter. At a time when participation in the charter was waning, she took on the role of treasurer and has held that position for the past five years. Becnel encourages her administrators to be involved, as evidenced by the Region 4 past-president, president and vice-president all being members of her staff. She is celebrated for her ability to rally staff to attend leadership forums, membership events and the ACSA 1234 North State Conference.

Don’t miss this opportunity to  recognize these remarkable women leaders.

Another remarkable woman is this year’s special guest speaker, Anese Cavanaugh, author of “Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set the Tone, and Intentionally Create an Organization That Thrives.” As a leading voice on intention, energy and presence in leadership and culture, Cavanaugh helps people unlock greater leadership potential, collaborate more inspiringly, create more openly, intuit more bravely, and lead more joyfully and effectively.

The WLN Event is set for April 23, 5-8 p.m. at the McClellan Conference Center, near Sacramento. Sponsors for the evening include Ray Morgan Company Document Technology Solutions, Brandman University, Fagen Friedman and Fulfrost LLP, and Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud and Romo, Law Corp. Seating is limited, and the deadline to register is April 13 or when filled. Contact Patches Kolb at (916) 286-5103 or patches.kolb@gcccharters.org for more information.

Nominations open for ACSA/NASS Exemplary Woman in Education Award

ACSA is currently seeking nominations of outstanding female education leaders for the ACSA/NASS Exemplary Woman in Education Award, to be presented at the 2018 Women in School Leadership Forum in Newport Beach, Sept. 26-28.

The nominee should serve as a role model for other women and demonstrate:

• A passion for the profession.
• A commitment to grow and develop others (by seeking mentors and by becoming a mentor to others).
• A demonstrated desire to give back through public and/or community service.
• Advocacy for the value of school administrators and contributes to the improvements of the profession.
• Nominee must be an ACSA member to qualify.

An online nomination form is available at www.acsa.org/womensaward. Nomination deadline is Aug. 17. Please contact Emily Agpoon, ACSA Awards Coordinator, with any questions. For more information on the Women in School Leadership Forum, go to www.acsa.org/womensforum.

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