How we support you
The challenges in education are unlike any in recent history. Administrators are expected to have a bevy of skills, extensive knowledge in curriculum, cultivate culture within the school community as well as positively impact student growth.
The TLA leadership team is comprised of former and current superintendents, central office administrators, and building-based leaders representing urban, suburban, regional, and rural school settings who are focused on school improvement. The leadership team is uniquely positioned to collaboratively develop and offer customized support for schools and districts
How can Teaching and Learning Alliance help School Leaders?
We leverage support for administrators in partner districts through strategic professional learning models. Below are some recent examples of how we have supported our partner schools and districts:
We offer a unique process of assisting districts in developing and implementing a three to five year strategic plan that serves as the district’s road map for improvement. This three-phase process includes collecting and analyzing data the district uses to measure itself in order to inform phase two of the process. In phase two, a mission, vision, core values, strategic initiatives and objectives, and a theory of action are developed. In the final phase, discussion occurs around implementation of the plan and uses its contents to drive organizational change horizontally and vertically. Find a sample of our strategic plan work here .
We create innovative approaches applied to structural supports for optimized and efficient student learning. In conjunction with the school, academic needs are determined and structures are created to support those needs.
Leading Improvement Communities
The Leading Improvement Community (LIC) provides the opportunities for groups of people representing a district, or groups of districts, to come together for collaborative learning around a specific, identified topic. Our LICs are tailored to district needs and the discussions and activities support the development of broader skills and knowledge to promote improvement in the teaching, learning, and leading.
The use of learning walks can be a very effective tool in inspecting and improving the teaching, learning, and leading in a school or district setting. At TLA, we have defined a process to collaborate with districts in identifying expectations of what good teaching and learning looks like and sounds like in practice. Using the Leading Improvement Framework (Borstel, 2018), teams of educators inspect identified expectations in practice, provide specific feedback regarding identified trends and patterns , and engage in conversations around improvement.
New and experienced school-based and district leaders benefit from the one on one coaching by our experienced team. In the initial meeting, an assessment is made to determine individual strengths, possible growth opportunities and specific needs of the individual. Coaches develop support sessions with high leverage focus areas that are strength-based opportunities utilizing proven frameworks and protocols to develop shared meaning and understanding.
Professional Learning Book Clubs
Books are selected to support initiatives and/or needs of the school/district. A series of group discussions and activities are custom developed from the selected educational topics to meet the goals established by the school/district.
Workshops closely match the structure of Book Clubs with school/district selected topics but may include larger groups for half and full day meetings. Workshops series can be designed based on the current and future needs of the school/district. Small groups extensively discuss and analyze topics developing a shared pool of understanding and common vocabulary.
Leadership Induction Programs
This program is done in collaboration with district staff to support new leaders, building and district level, in acclimating and navigating the first year as an instructional leader. Our coaching is done individually or in Leading Improvement Communities (LICs) focused on leadership development, school improvement, and academic achievement.
Meet the Leadership Team:
Scott Borstel, Ed.D. Director of Innovations in School Leadership
Dr. Borstel has over 35 years of experience as an educational leader. As a native New Englander, he loves all things New England: skiing, golfing, the beach and all professional sports. Scott’s vast educational experiences include classroom teaching, building leadership as an assistant principal and principal, and district leadership as Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Personnel, Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent of Schools. Dr. Borstel has also served as a professor in the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.
As the former owner of Teaching, Learning & Leading Consulting , LLC, Scott has a great deal of consulting experience at the national level. He joined TLA in 2019 and currently serves as the Director of Innovations in School Leadership. Scott is passionate about working with educational leaders at the classroom, building, and district-level to engage in collaborative work that improves teaching, learning and leading. Dr. Borstel earned a BS in Education from Bridgewater State College, an M.ed. in Administration from Suffolk University, a CAGS in Educational Leadership and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Johnson & Wales University. Scott is also a nationally certified mentor/coach.
Ed Lee, Leadership Project Manager
Ed is a life-long public school educator with over 34 years of service. Of the 34, 26 were as an administrator. He has the unique experiences of having been a Principal at the Elementary, Middle and High School levels in urban, suburban and regional settings. Together with his school-based positions, he has served as a Network Superintendent and later an Operational Superintendent in the Boston Public Schools. His broad experiences in a multitude of settings provides him with a visionary coaching approach to leadership, influencing learning and sustaining school improvement balanced between theory, practice and data.
As someone who grew up in the food service industry and the youngest of nine, he can have a no nonsense business-like approach, but because of his strong family mores, he believes education must be a people-oriented institution.
Ed earned his B.S. in Public Health from University of Massachusetts in Amherst and his M.Ed. from Lesley University. In his free time, he can be found fishing on his boat, enjoying the outdoors or using his hands to build and repair.
Zeff Genetti, Leadership Consultant
Mr. Gianetti has over 35 years of experience in public education, serving as a teacher at all grade levels, K-12 Department Director, Assistant Principal, Middle School Principal and Superintendent of Schools. With experience in seven different and diverse school systems, the unique leadership skills required to expand and strengthen arts program and staffing, and deep experience in building capacity to change and innovate with staff, Zeff offers a versatile set of leadership skills and coaching abilities coupled with a down-to-earth collaborative style. Zeff has over twenty years of experience as a building based middle school administrator. Hired as a change agent in three different districts tasked with major restructuring of middle schools, including implementation of new schedules, Zeff has led five different middle schools through successful transitions. He concluded his career as Superintendent of Schools in Mansfield, Massachusetts where he worked as leadership coach to numerous principals and staff leaders and was and remains sought after by other superintendents for strategic planning and organizational management coaching. Since retiring from the superintendency, Zeff has continued in interim middle school leadership positions and mentoring of new principals, and helping districts and buildings assess and organize their priorities for the hiring of new leaders.
Cheryl Giovoni, Leadership Consultant
Cheryl’s career in education has spanned 30 plus years in Massachusetts public schools including roles as a elementary classroom and secondary English teacher, middle school assistant principal, Title I Director, Intermediate School principal, and K-12 English Director.
Her strong leadership has focused on equitable progress for all learners. She promotes effective and engaging instruction that is supported by well-designed curriculum and ongoing professional development. She believes that data analysis should be understood by and involves all those linked to student achievement. She also knows that the well-being of staff, students, and families is essential to every student’s growth.
Prior to coaching with TLA, Cheryl served as a literacy consultant for MA DESE in multiple low-performing districts, presenting at district, regional and state conferences. She served as a district plan writer and project lead for several projects, has taught as an adjunct professor, and currently serves as a university Program Supervisor of student teachers.
In her leisure time, Cheryl loves to write, paint, dabble in photography, and soak up everything about living near the ocean in New England!
Mike Hejducek, Leadership Consultant
Mike Hejducek started his educational career 38 years ago teaching elementary, middle and high school levels. Mike earned his BA in Art and Education from Bridgewater State University, and his MA from the University of Houston. Mike also attended Rice University as part of their Leadership Entrepreneurship program.
Mike moved from New Hampshire to Texas in 1988 where he began his educational leadership experience, serving first as an assistant principal and then principal at both the elementary and middle school levels. Mike’s experiences include working with a variety of programs that served students from diverse multicultural socioeconomic backgrounds. Mike is also passionate about growing leaders and coaching them in the leadership role. In Mike’s last assignment as principal before retirement, he took his school to the national level in character education and best instructional practices.
Mike enjoys escaping to Rockport, Texas, with his wife during his free time to hike, fish and just relax.
Gary Maestas, Ed.D. Leadership Consultant
Dr. Maestas’ career has spanned 30 plus years in Massachusetts as a teacher at the secondary level, assistant principal, coordinator of technology, assistant superintendent and superintendent. For the past twelve years he has successfully led Plymouth Public Schools in Plymouth, Massachusetts as superintendent. The strength of Dr. Maestas’ vision and leadership, coupled with the respect and collaboration from those he has
worked with at local, state, national, and international levels, has resulted in innovative programming for all children and infrastructure advancements, driven by a strategic framework ensuring long-term sustainability.
Dr. Maestas has also taught at the collegiate level where he focused his teaching on school law and school finance. He is currently a commissioner of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and has led accreditation teams across the globe.