District Assistant Superintendent for Student Learning Adrienne Usher and Director of Secondary Education Rachelle Bramlage-Schomburg have been inducted into the 2019 cohort of Kentucky Women in Education Leadership.
They are among 24 professionals selected by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators and the Center for Education Leadership.
Usher said she is honored and very excited to have been selected for participation in Cohort 2 of KWEL.
“I am looking forward to the experience of growing my professional learning for the purpose of growing future leaders within the field of education,” she said.
Bramlage-Schomburg said she heard there were approximately 50-75 applicants and only 25 selected.
“The percentage being accepted didn’t seem high therefore, my first reaction was absolutely surprised. Humbled immediately followed,” she said. “Proud was also embedded as to representing Bullitt County not only as one of their leaders, more importantly, all the things Bullitt County has taught me.”
The KASA website describes KWEL as designed for women working for P-12 in public education who are entering or advancing their careers.
KASA Executive Deputy Director Rhonda Caldwell, Ed.D., said KWEL is defining the future for women in public education while building on the foundation laid by the Kentucky Women in School Administration, which was KASA’s first women’s initiative in the 1980s and 1990s when few women held leadership positions in school districts.
“KWEL members will benefit from a support system, leadership development opportunities, career advancement, shared experiences through a network of on-going professional growth and development, coaching and mentoring, and reward and recognition of women who are exemplary leaders,” Caldwell noted.
Leadership qualities were a focal point in the selection criteria.
“Student-driven in which all decisions revolve around how to improve student learning focusing on this question: What is the probable impact of student learning?” Bramlage-Schomburg remarked. “This happens by developing leaders, being a team member, and allowing others to provide feedback for me to continue to grow.”
Usher said one of the contributions she would like to make to the field of education is ensuring there are solid mentoring networks that help identify future leaders and providing the individualized support to help grow and develop their leadership traits.
“Just as teacher effectiveness is crucial to student learning, leadership effectiveness is also a key ingredient to instructional and organizational effectiveness which creates the right conditions for high teacher effectiveness and positive student outcomes,” she said. “Based on this contribution, I feel that my application was congruent to the purpose of the KWEL program.”
The KWEL forum brings both experienced and aspiring leaders together for an extraordinary opportunity. Its purpose is three-fold:
- It will give women currently serving in an educational leadership role the opportunities to mentor other women aspiring to lead at the same level;
- Support women that aspire to lead but may need the confidence, courage and support to take the next step.
- This network can give all women serving in an executive leadership role an additional support system unique to the needs of women and the challenges they face.
The leadership Usher wants to bring to the forum is being able to use her leadership strengths as a way to provide support for other women leaders in the cohort while also modeling the reflective skills that is needed to keep a growth mindset for continued development of her leadership traits.
“I hope to gain new knowledge to increase my effectiveness as a leader for our students, staff and community in Bullitt County,” Usher said. “I also am looking forward to increasing my system of support with new mentors and colleagues who are working toward the same goals for their own professional development as well as through their service to students. This experience will impact my work as a leader in our district by continuing to grow my own perspective, decision-making, collaboration and critical thinking skills to continue moving our district forward in instructional and organizational system improvements.”
Bramlage-Schomburg said, “Professionally, it’s all about student learning and the constant development of leaders. Personally, it is about the intentional goal-setting, the power of reflection, and surrounding myself with people and experiences that challenge and help me to grow as a learner and a leader.”
A quote from Gandhi is one in which Bramlage-Schomburg attempts to live by: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
“Education is that change as well as surrounding yourself with growth minded colleagues who may or may not have more experience but can push you to grow in ways you didn’t think could happen,” she said. “I want to grow to become better. Therefore, I hope to learn from others in how I can better serve the community of Bullitt County.”
Bramlage-Schomburg added she will continue to work to inspire others, to allow creativity such that individuals are willing to take a risk for the benefit of students and their learning.
“It is my goal to create systems that clearly support student learning and build the leadership capacity of others such that the systems become self-sufficient, enduring beyond my tenure. I want this forum to help support my growth and my North Star,” she said.