Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Courageous Principals: 150 Spring Branch ISD Principals attend Deloitte University Leadership Program

One-hundred and fifty Spring Branch ISD principals returned with commitment and enthusiasm from a 2½ day weekend leadership development program in June held at the Deloitte University corporate campus and training facility in Westlake, Texas.

SBISD’s leadership group is the largest team of principals in the Courageous Principals program, which is being sponsored for four school districts nationwide. In addition to SBISD, public school principals in San Francisco, Chicago and New York City will attend sessions in Westlake this summer.

“We were truly thrilled to partner with Deloitte on this exciting opportunity for our campus leadership,” said SBISD Superintendent of Schools Duncan F. Klussmann, Ed.D. “By adapting Deloitte’s exceptional business leadership training for public education, we know our great leaders will be challenged to think differently about their work to strengthen our schools even more.”

The Deloitte University sessions were held from June 20-22 for SBISD’s principals. Earlier in the same week, a City of Houston proclamation was issued stating that June 17, 2014, was Deloitte Courageous Principals Day in Houston.

“These principals have the power to influence dozens of teachers, who in turn will influence hundreds of students. Knowing this, Deloitte has created the Courageous Principals: From Insight to Action program, leveraging what we do every day for clients and our own people – developing great leaders,” said Anne Taylor, who is vice chairman and managing partner of Deloitte’s Gulf Coast practice, in a press release.

Deloitte intends to improve the immediate future of more than 100,000 students in the Courageous Principals program’s first year. Teaming with other members of the business community, government and not-for-profit entities, as well as school systems themselves, Deloitte will provide the principals with insights to enable them to become more effective leaders and bring change to their schools, organizers said.

The focus on principals is due to the multiplier effect – 230,000 principals can reach 3.9 million teachers, who can reach 50 million students. SBISD’s school principals work each and every day with 35,000 students from prekindergarten through 12th grade.

Through Courageous Principals, participants are immersed in an intensive program to enhance their leadership skills. The program presents an opportunity for education leaders to network, share ideas, relay real-world stories, address specific challenges and opportunities, and work together to develop collaborative strategies.

“I believe a great educator is not created in a classroom, but rather they are born with a fiery passion to serve. Being an extraordinary educator is a true calling,” said Stratford High Ninth-Grade Principal Laura Ragsdale Villaflor. “Yet, in spite of our servant leadership, we are met with various challenges that make us question our purpose and our capacity to lead.”

In the Deloitte University sessions, Assistant Principal Ragsdale Villaflor reflected on her leadership practices.

“I developed a sense of clarity, consciousness and confidence about myself, learning that my imperfections were not weaknesses at all, but they were strengths of those around me. SBISD is composed of people with a variety of strengths, and Deloitte University highlighted this in a purposeful way,” she said.

“There is no single way to be a great leader, but our passions bond us together and we are capable of accomplishing any goal. Deloitte University demonstrated how SBISD is filled with astonishing leaders and, when united, we create a perfect army born to inspire brilliant minds,” Assistant Principal Ragsdale Villaflor added.

Organizers say that the principals will use what they learn two ways. First, they will apply their new knowledge directly in their day-to-day jobs and by doing so, will lead better. In addition, the principals will share what they learn with their teachers, creating a ripple effect of leadership into the Houston and SBISD communities.

Please visit for information on this highly regarded professional services firm.

Media Contacts:

Deloitte Public Relations:
Jane Broski at or by phone at 1-312-486-2973

SBISD Communications Dept.:
Steve Brunsman at or by phone at 713-516-0607 


Post a Comment

Do you have feedback? Tell us.