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Professional Development

ESSAA’s professional development offerings are designed to apprise members of local, national and global educational trends, inform the growth and  improvement of schools, and help guide members throughout their professional leadership journey.

In addition to statewide offerings, we personalize professional development opportunities at the regional level to meet the unique and emerging needs of our members.  We collaborate with a range of practitioners, researchers, and other organizations to provide our members access to helpful tools and best practices in school leadership.

ESSAA is certified by the New York State Education Department as a Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) provider.  We offer cost effective, quality professional development opportunities for our members, presented by leaders in the field.  Our workshops are tailored to meet the unique needs of public school administrators in New York State.   The topics presented are developed from feedback from the membership.

Upon completion of our workshops, each successful participant receives a CTLE certificate indicating participation and completion of the course, which Professional Certificate holders may apply toward the 100 hours required to renew certification every five years in accord with Section 80-6 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

ESSAA understands what it takes to be an effective leader and works to provide the support you need to achieve your goals through quality professional development.



Past professional learning experiences

to request a copy of presentation materials, contact 



Opening Schools 2020 - Challenges Facing School Leaders
A Discussion with Dr. Kim Wilkins - NYSED Deputy Commissioner P-12 Instructional Support
On Tuesday, August 20th, ESSAA members gathered virtually for a panel discussion with Dr. Kim Wilkins, NYSED Deputy Commissioner Instructional Support and former ESSAA member, Carol Conklin-Spillane, ESSAA President and Robert Saperstein, ESSAA Senior Counsel. Schools leaders in New York face unprecedented challenges opening schools this September. The session was designed to provide information and perspective to assist our members in meeting the many competing and compelling demands. Questions from ESSAA members were presented for panel discussion facilitated by Mike Starvaggi, ESSAA Executive Director. 


Let's Talk about Race! Developing Critically Conscious School Leaders   

ESSAA colleagues from across the state discussed achieving equality through embracing    discomfort, interrogating the inherent anti-Blackness in the field of education and exploring    actively anti-racist practices with Dr. Waite.   


Leadership During Difficult Times

ESSAA colleagues from across the state participated in a virtual presentation, Leadership During Difficult Times with the esteemed Dr. Todd Whitaker. ESSAA members were inspired by Dr. Whitaker's timeless suggestions for building a positive culture, fostering two way communication and future focused thinking during this current time of rapid change and uncertainty as well as for the future.  


"Thank you for an exceptional PD 
The presenter reminded me
with excellent
examples and brief
stories of approaches
and perspectives
that every leader should
everyday.  Not just in a crisis."
"Very inspiring and put things 
in perspective
during these
difficult times. Great suggestions
to create the culture not just
maintain the climate."

"I thought that Dr. Whitaker provided 
our members
with many common
sense leadership strategies.
was laser focused on improving
school culture
and achieved his
points with humor and clarity."


Negotiations Skills and Strategies

ESSAA attorneys Bob Saperstein and Mike Starvaggi presented an informative session - Negotiations Skills and Strategies, guiding RASA members through the negotiations process, from informal vs. formal, to ground rules to what to expect at the negotiating table, but one of the most important aspects of this presentation was letting members know that ESSAA counsel will be there every step of the way.


Navigating the Challenges of School Leadership



Dignity For All Students Act - DASA






 Building Better Behavior:  Collaborative Approach to Working With Challenging Students 

Dr. Jennifer Bashant presented a regional professional learning opportunity for our CAPSA membership
titled Building Better Behavior: Collaborative Approach to Working With Challenging Students. 
Participants learned about the collaborative problem solving philosophy of approaching student
behaviors with a focus on problem solving strategies that reflect collective thinking and action planning.‚Äč



Janus vs. AFSCME

What does Janus vs. AFSCME mean?  RASA leaders came together to 
discuss the landmark case and talk about the questions that need to be asked.




What Great Principals and School Leaders Do Differently

Based on years of experience as a school principal, Dr. Whitaker’s
suggestions inspired and reminded school leaders about
critical strategies to support a positive school culture.


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