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First-Time Superintendents Academy

TASA’s First-Time Superintendents Academy (FTSA) — the go-to training for beginning Texas superintendents for the last 30+ years — has been designed around the most important learning outcomes for first- and second-year superintendents.

School Year Start/End

Learn how to handle both the beginning and end of a school year – from the mechanics of orchestrating convocation and graduation to the broader work of establishing leadership strategy and planning for changes in the district.

Vision & Communication

Vision and communication is key. Learn how to go about determining district beliefs and values, adopting a vision and goals, and prioritizing and responding to district and community needs. But first – learn how to gain trust and garner respect!

District Finances

Find out everything you didn’t know you needed to know about your district’s financial situation – from how to determine its financial status to establishing a budget and setting a tax rate and synthesizing multiple data points to inform district stakeholders about the financial outlook.

School Board Relations

Understand the logistics of working with a school board as well as the ins and outs of the superintendent/school board relationship – from the basics of setting an agenda and understanding the purpose of executive sessions to establishing two-way communication with your board, creating/revising procedures, and assessing the effectiveness of board practices. Learn how to develop your “Team of 8!”

Superintendent's Contract & Evaluation

Dive into the superintendent’s contract and evaluation, learning how to collaboratively set annual priorities, select or develop an evaluation instruction, and create a portfolio of supportive evidence for your evaluation. Learn how to advocate for yourself!

Public Relations

Get a crash course on public relations! Learn how to establish a relationship with local media and your community, leverage social media, highlight the successes of your faculty and staff, manage crisis through communication, keep your community informed, and create an inclusive culture.


Find out why advocacy at the state and local levels is important and how you can advocate productively for your district and for pro-public education policies at the state level.

Upcoming Events

Need a Mentor?

If you’re a first-time superintendent in need of a mentor to meet State Board for Educator Certification requirements, register for the First-Time Superintendents Academy today! TASA’s Superintendent Mentoring Program is embedded in the academy, allowing participants to meet state requirements for mentoring with 36 hours of professional learning and monthly meetings with their mentors.

2024-25 Academy Sessions

Session 1

Understanding the Dynamics of Your District, Community, and Board | July 24-25, 2024

Learn strategies for gaining a better understanding of the dynamics of your new district, including the logistics of working with your school board and assessing the district’s financial situation. Connect with mentors and formulate a plan for the first 90 days of the school year. Session 1 includes a special kick-off dinner and reception.

Session 2

Establishing Leadership and Prioritizing Change | September 4-5, 2024

Dive into prioritizing the needs of your new district, the most effective board practices, and shaping the narrative about your district through public relations. Begin work on a portfolio of supportive evidence for your superintendent’s evaluation. Includes a reception/dinner on Day 1.

Session 3

Advocating for Your District, Your Students, and Yourself | November 6-7, 2024

Check in on the success of your 90-day plan, find out what you need to know about advocacy at the state level, and dig into superintendent contract issues, the superintendent evaluation instrument, and managing crisis through communication. Continue work on your portfolio. Includes a reception/dinner on Day 1.

Session 4

Setting Direction for Your District | February 19-20, 2025

Focus on finance and end-of-year issues, learn about engaging your board in school transformation, and setting a vision and direction as superintendent. Create a plan for moving into the next school year. Includes a reception/dinner on Day 1.

Bonus Session

Participants also have the opportunity to meet and engage with others during the Inspiring Leaders Luncheon during the TASA Midwinter Conference in January in Austin.

Plus! Satisfy State Requirements for Superintendent Mentoring

FTSA Participants will meet State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC)
superintendent mentoring requirements through participation in the academy.

TASA also offers mentoring and coaching to first-time superintendents who aren’t participating in FTSA.
Contact Jessica Arceneaux at TASA to inquire.

Opportunity for Executive Coaching

By enrolling in FTSA, participants will potentially have the opportunity to work with an executive coach. Coaching assignments will be based on the number of FTSA members desiring a coach, but an effort will be made to provide coaching to all interested FTSA participants.

2024-25 Rates for FTSA

TASA member: full, four-session academy $845
Non-member: full, four-session academy $945
Individual sessions $295 each


You may start the academy anytime during the school year and continue into the next school year. For example, if you start with Session 2, scheduled for September, you may then participate in Session 3 in November, Session 4 in February, and then attend Session 1 in fall 2025. Sign up for the full academy or individual sessions in TASA’s Member Services Center. Click on the Events tab.

Housing for FTSA

All four sessions of FTSA are held at the Marriott Austin North at 2600 La Frontera Boulevard in Round Rock, Texas. A housing block has been reserved for each session. Click on “Learn More” for the session you are attending (see above) to access a housing reservation link. 

2023-24 FTSA Sponsors

Everyday Labs logo
LPA logo

CPE Hours

The First-Time Superintendents Academy offers up to 48 hours of Continuing Professional Education credit.


Maria Cruz

Learning & Events