Ashland University Professional Learning Services provides the Ashland Leadership Academy Seminars (ALAS) for educational leaders in the field and offers the opportunity to earn three graduate credits from Ashland University. The 2023 Academy included a book study and discussion with Dr. Rick Hess and Dr. Pedro Noguera about their book, A Search for Common Ground. In addition, ALAS provided educational leaders with the experience of the SchoolSims simulation: Difficult Conversations – Race.
Michael Molnar, Superintendent from Amherst Exempted School District, has been a consistent Academy participant and applied the ALAS three weekend experience to the required paper prompt, “What does advocacy and persuasive writing have to do with finding common ground?”
In the role of Superintendent, leaders are often tasked with making difficult decisions that can have significant impacts on the communities they serve. In some cases, those decisions can lead to community unity or community crises that require careful communication and community outreach. In every case, the Superintendent’s goal is to create a message that is persuasively advocating for a position that finds common ground, especially in polarizing situations where there are two sides to the situation.