School leaders learn innovative coaching strategies at COE conference

The 34th annual UNT Educational Leadership Conference organized by Assistant Professor Miriam Ezzani and Principal Lecturer Linda Stromberg of the College of Education’s Department of Teacher Education and Administration brought together 150 teachers and leaders from schools and districts across North Texas Nov. 8. The focus of this year’s conference was “Transforming Culture Through Leadership Coaching.”

Mike Moses, former superintendent of Dallas ISD and onetime commissioner of education for the state of Texas, gave the keynote address, encouraging attendees to be the kind of leaders who build a climate of energy and enthusiasm in their schools.

“As educators, we’re interested in improving the quality of life for kids, but we’re also interested in the growth and happiness of adults so they can help kids grow,” he said. “I think that teachers want to work in organizations where they feel gratified, excited and enthusiastic, but they also want to work with people who are invested in their professional development.”

Moses said paying attention to national polls, voting patterns, educational trends and technology, among other factors, will help educators build a legacy of leadership that will make today’s young children tomorrow’s successful adults. He also stressed the importance of mentorship.

“If mentors in my life were interested in my goals, dreams and aspirations, and wanted me to be happy, I would knock myself out for them,” he said. “That’s creating an environment of leadership. Be about the business of creating environments that are nurturing, affirming and encouraging.”

Conference participants were challenged to consider concepts and skills in leadership coaching offered by the presenters Kathryn Kee and Lloyd Sain. Kee and Sain are national trainers through Results Coaching Global. They engaged the participants in research-based learner centered activities intended to cultivate powerful communication skills.

“I believe most attendees were fascinated with the connection between leadership coaching and how one can regulate one’s and others’ emotions in the moment,” Ezzani said. “Our conference topics are focused on theory to practice connections and solutions, which makes this annual conference so beneficial to educational leaders at the school and district level.”   

Participants said the conference offered relevant lessons they could immediately implement on their campuses.

“The content of this conference was right on target, and the opportunity to practice some of the coaching strategies was extremely impactful,” said one bilingual/ESL interventionist.


Above, COE Dean Randy Bomer presents a gift to Mike Moses, former Dallas ISD superintendent and Texas commissioner of education.