How Facilitative Leadership Elevated Education and Empowered New Leaders at Alabama’s Talladega County School District.

The Situation

Tucked away in a rural area of Alabama, the Talladega County School District is a beacon of learning for its community. Consisting of 17 schools, this vast educational hub serves over 7,100 eager students with the help of approximately 954 dedicated faculty and staff. As the fourth largest employer in Talladega County, the district has a massive responsibility.

Dr. Suzanne Lacey, the steadfast superintendent who has been leading the district for 15 years and has over 39 years in the field, faced a daunting challenge. Nearly 85% of her staff had less than five years of experience. With such a fresh team, challenges like running efficient meetings, building consensus, and prioritizing issues could become unnecessarily cumbersome. While the school district had a strong foundation, the green staff required guidance in realizing their full leadership potential. The changing school culture, largely influenced by the young staff, made it evident that a significant intervention was necessary.

The Solution

Years ago, when Dr. Lacey was a budding administrator, she encountered Interaction Associates’ Facilitative Leadership® - a program that forever changed her professional trajectory. This leadership training, designed for frontline and senior leaders, offers tools and techniques to lead effectively in an ever-evolving world. Recognizing its potential, Dr. Lacey decided to reintroduce this training to her current team.

The district organized two intensive cohort sessions in June and July 2023. The first session saw the participation of principals and assistant principals, while the subsequent session catered to more principals and central office administrators. Approximately 20 leaders in each cohort dove deep into the training, sharpening their communication, problem-solving skills, and building a collaborative spirit.

Facilitative Leadership is transformative. I experienced its power 30 years ago and was eager to introduce it to our team. The trainers showcased effective communication methods with peers, parents, and students. It’s rewarding to see our team grow in confidence and skill to tackle challenges.

Dr. Suzanne Lacey, Superintendent, Talladega County School District

The Results

Impact & Lessons Learned

The results of the Facilitative Leadership program were instantly palpable. With an outstanding 100% approval rating, participants couldn’t stop singing its praises. One graduate mentioned that “this is a ‘must have’ professional development opportunity for school employees.” Graduates of this program felt more empowered, capable, and prepared to tackle their responsibilities with renewed vigor.

Dr. Lacey herself noted the profound impact, stating, “One focus within Facilitative Leadership is outlining the importance of agendas and how to properly build one that makes a significant impact on the success of meetings.

I’ve noticed that shift in those who experienced this training and I feel confident in the outcomes of those meetings.”

With rave reviews and a renewed sense of purpose among its leadership, the Talladega County School District is poised for even greater achievements. Through the power of Facilitative Leadership, they have laid a robust foundation for future success.

"This was hands down the best professional training I’ve ever received pertinent to my role as a school leader.”
- Talladega County School District Facilitative Leadership Graduate

Training Solutions

Discover a range of programs offered by IA, including our highly sought-after flagship trainings available in both in-person and online formats. Explore our most popular options below:

Essential Facilitation®
Reduce the instances of unproductive meetings with this popular facilitation training program. We provide tools to guide process, resolve conflict, build agreements, and broker communication.

Facilitative Leadership®
Our flagship program explores the relationship between leadership and participation. You'll learn seven leadership practices for improving effectiveness of teams, projects and organizational leaders.

Action Accelerators
Help your leaders engage a distributed workforce. Give virtual team members the skills and tools to stay connected, productive, and accountable from home and across distances and differences with this online training opportunity.

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