The Commerce Journal

October 3, 2012

Blake Cooper selected for superintendent academy


The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — Blake Cooper, superintendent of Commerce ISD, has been selected to participate in the Lamar University Superintendent Academy, an advanced leadership training program on Lamar University’s Beaumont campus. Cooper has received a scholarship to attend through The Center for Executive Leadership at Lamar.

According to its Executive Director Dr. Bob Thompson, participation in the academy is by invitation only. The 22 superintendents in the 2012-2013 class were chosen from a list of approximately 75 nominees from Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. To be selected is an honor not only to the superintendent, Thompson said, but also to his or her board and district.

Without the support of forward-looking boards, no superintendent could have achieved the level of success and recognition necessary to be selected to the academy, according to Thompson.

At the academy, Cooper will review the latest technology for enhancing student learning, participate in advanced leadership training from some of the nation’s foremost trainers of company executives, and get training in the Decision Support Center, a high tech laboratory for improving the speed and quality of management decision making.

Cooper will also have an opportunity for field trips to visit other school districts to review practices that have helped make those districts be successful.

According to Thompson, the knowledge superintendents glean from work in the academy is immediately applicable to any district, regardless of size or location.

To assist districts in incorporating these management concepts, the academy will host a three day Visioning session in the spring for academy superintendents and their boards where they will be led through joint leadership training and planning activities.

They will also meet with boards and superintendents from similar sized districts to share ideas for increasing student achievement and developing a vision for the future.

The year-long academy is designed, Thompson said, to provide the most professional growth opportunities with the least amount of time away from the district.