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Embracing Leadership: DSST Staff member shares her experience with the Teacher Leader Pipeline

Have you ever considered taking your career in education to the next level? If so, you're not alone. Many educators dream of becoming leaders within their schools and making a more profound impact on the lives of students. One way to achieve this dream is through programs like DSST's Teacher Leader Pipeline, a unique initiative that paves the way for aspiring education leaders to grow and flourish.

A few years ago, after serving as a house lead for a couple of years, Melissa Dubay (campus director of curriculum and instruction at DSST: College View Middle School) began contemplating a career shift into school leadership. It was then that her school director introduced her to the Aspiring Leaders Program, a novel initiative aimed at developing the leadership skills of teacher leaders. Instantly intrigued, Dubay joined the program, ready to explore new horizons.

“From my first meeting in the program, I instantly felt a connection with the group of people participating and the wonderful leaders facilitating our year-long journey together,” Dubay said. “I had never experienced a space like this before.” 

It provided a space for Dubay to share ideas, experiences, and perspectives, fostering a sense of unity and collaboration. Throughout the year, the journey allowed her to learn more about herself as an individual and as a potential leader.

According to Dubay, what sets DSST apart in terms of nurturing upward career growth is the deliberate and thoughtful approach.

“The intentionality behind DSST’s leadership development program is extremely unique,” Dubay said. “DSST’s programming shows the desire for community members to become network leaders.”

DSST goes the extra mile to offer the support necessary for individuals to thrive when they transition into new roles.

“It’s clear that DSST focuses on each community member’s individual growth and goals to help them develop into the best version of themselves,” Dubay said.

One essential aspect of leadership is the ability to connect with others on an emotional level. Dubay credits the DSST leadership pipeline with helping her develop and hone the soft skills that are crucial when working with a diverse group of individuals.

“The Aspiring Leaders Program helped me develop emotional intelligence and other soft skills that are necessary in working with others,” Dubay said. “I would not have been able to develop these skills on my own. Although I still have room to grow in these areas, the work that we did throughout the year prepared me for a role in school leadership.”

The opportunities provided by the Teacher Leader Pipeline have had a profound impact on Dubay. She believes the program has not only prepared her to be effective in her work but has also instilled in her a strong sense of purpose and passion for nurturing the next generation of leaders.