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DSST leadership team celebrates growth and joy at 2nd annual leadership pipeline symposium

The DSST Leadership Development Team hosted the 2nd Annual Leadership Pipeline Symposium on May 15th. The transformational evening celebrated the 2023-2024 participants from DSST’s three leadership pipelines  — School Directors in Training (SDiT), Advanced Leadership Cohort (ALC), and the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP). 

Pipeline participants engaged in cohort-based learning throughout the year and remained committed to their individualized leadership plans that targeted development in specific leadership competencies aligned to roles. The symposium was designed to showcase their insights, evidence of growth, and appreciation for their mentors and community. 

“I felt uplifted by the joy with which everyone was greeted by colleagues, as well as the enthusiasm present in new introductions to other incredible leaders,” said Griffin Hamstead, an English-Language Arts teacher at DSST: Elevate High School who is part of the Emerging Leader Program (ELP). “I know that I can visit any campus in our network and feel welcome because of the trust that we built in our Leadership cohort this year."

For many attendees, like Crystal Purvis - another ELP participant from DSST: College View - the Symposium was an inspiring showcase of diverse paths to leadership within DSST. 

“It was really inspiring and encouraging to hear from School Directors in Training (SDiTs) and individuals in the Advanced Leadership Cohort,” Purvis said. “I was impressed by the diversity of paths to leadership that have been taken by so many leaders in our network, and by the stories of growth I heard." 

Naomi Chu, a member of the Advanced Leadership Cohort (ALC) from DSST: Elevate High School, found the event heartwarming and inspiring.

"I felt grateful to share the same space with my fellow leaders,” Chu said. “Being a part of the ALC this year deeply and positively impacted my leadership growth this year by really helping me to understand how my identity aligns with the five leadership domains and DSST’s vision and mission of ending educational inequities.”

Dr. Natalie Lewis, DSST Vice President Of Leader Development, took a moment to reflect on the significance of the Symposium, a celebration recognizing the participants' achievements and acknowledging their hard work and dedication.

"Wednesday’s celebration was a first-hand opportunity for our leadership pipeline participants to share their learning, growth, and application of leadership that they are having on their campuses and in their self-reflection," she said. “Shout out to our leadership pipeline participants and their development and hard work this year!”

The SDiT speeches made an impact on many, including Makita Cotto, Vice President Of Talent Operations.

"I was particularly inspired by the SDiT speeches and how they view leadership and what they hope to take into the next level of leadership,” Cotto said. “ I am excited and motivated by the commitment to develop strong leaders at DSST.”

The Leadership Pipeline Symposium was a night of joy, reflection and inspiration. It showcased the remarkable growth of DSST's leaders and their commitment to ending educational inequity through strong, compassionate and well-prepared leadership.

Want to learn more about the DSST Leadership Pipeline? Click here. Check out some photos from the symposium here.