Experience CLEE's Impact in MA Schools Through the Lens of MA District Leader, Dr. Joany Santa

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Partnering with CLEE

Thoughts from an interview with Dr. Joany Santa, Human Resource Director for Falmouth Schools (MA). Dr. Santa has expansive experience as a transformational principal and district leader. She is also a 2004 Principal Residency Network (PRN) Graduate, Co-Founding CLEE Board Vice President, and CLEE Coach.

Note: This blog was written from an interview with Dr. Joany Santa and edited for clarity. To hear her share even more insight, please click on the audio link below.

When I reflect on my partnership with CLEE, the mental image that comes to mind is community - you feel like you're with your tribe. Whether I was with other folks from the PRN or any part of CLEE I've been involved in, I have always felt at home. It feels good to be with folks who are about going deeper in the work and being supportive of each other.

Over the years of working with CLEE I have built a  collection of memories of times when we've been together working through dilemmas. Dilemmas aren’t always fun, they can be sticky and we need help unpacking them. 

I find myself looking back on my experience in the PRN and CLEE whenever I'm engaged as a building principal, a central office worker, or any other part of my work. For example, due to my learning experiences in the PRN, I am constantly asking myself and others questions like:  How is the initiative going to address the areas that we've identified need change? What does the data show us? How does this initiative connect to the data?  And, how are we as the adults and educators either moving that initiative forward or getting in the way?

The learning I did with CLEE can easily be connected to the work I’ve done to put theory into practice. I remember having one of those “aha, yes!” moments while I was at Southbridge Public School District working on leadership development. I was amazed at how you can tap folks, train them, give them the tools and support them in using cycles of inquiry to improve their practice. And,  it really did work!

I can't think of a better or more important time to partner with CLEE if you are serious about increasing equity. Work with CLEE if you want to do real work in your school communities. Work with CLEE if you really want to see a change.  If you are looking for an organization filled with folks that have the moral courage to go forward with things that make people amazingly uncomfortable and hopeful, then CLEE is who you need to be working with! But if what you want is to be performative and check off some boxes, then you don't want to partner with CLEE to do that. Because at the end of the day, the work we all need to do is about real change that makes all of our students and adults feel like they belong, and that their voices are valued.

Interested in partnering with CLEE? Click here to schedule a consultation with a CLEE Facilitator!