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The Assistant Superintendent of Personnel and Policy, Dr. Michelle Ruble, and the Directors of Professional Development, Dr. Rhonda Baldwin and Mrs. Kenya Elder of the Douglas County School System (DCSS) attended the Highlands Certification Training program that I conducted February 6-7, 2018. The purpose? Superintendent Trent North wants to equip those who support teachers with cutting edge professional development. These in-house Highlands Certified providers will implement the Highlands Ability Battery as part of DCSS’s professional development and district leadership professional learning programs.
DCSS is the 17th largest school district in Georgia serving approximately 26,000 students in 33 schools and two specialized high schools. Between 2008 and 2016, Mr. North along with 6 other administrators each encountered The Highlands Company’s professional development programs when participating in GSSA’s SPDP and DOPDP. Experiencing first hand the benefits of the cutting edge Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) and the Highlands’ Whole Person Approach©, Mr. North was eager to make the same opportunity available to others in the school system who support teachers.
I worked with all DCSS principals in July 2017. From December 2017-February 2018 I also worked with central office administrators, office managers, and other administrative personnel that support central office leaders. The experience provided participants with a solid foundation of their own objectively measured talents, a comprehensive understanding of others’ talents, and tips on how to work together productively. In the words of one leader, “Knowing that people are different from one another is one thing. Understanding specifically how we are different and knowing how to work with those differences takes our capacity to a whole other level!”
In 2012, after participating in GSSA’s SPDP program when he was Director of Community Affairs and Program Compliance with Carrolton City Schools, Mr. North saw the value of understanding the foundation of his leadership capabilities. He contracted with me to provide the Highlands professional development to the administrators in that school system. Convinced of the positive effects on individuals’ empowerment and improved communication with one another over several years, Mr. North became certified in the Highlands process himself in 2015. He has reaped the benefits of growing his leaders ever since. In his words “The HAB gives leaders the confidence to lead using their own natural talents and style, permission to know that to be productive they cannot do it all themselves, and the insight to embrace the talents of others.”
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