New Leadership Networks for a New Year

Allison Persad, co-facilitator of the School Leaders of Color Network, left, and D. Rae Garrison, co-facilitator of the LGBTQ+ School Leaders Network.

In November 2021, NASSP launched a set of nine Leadership Networks, which are community groups for school leaders. Currently, more than 2,000 school leaders from around the country have registered as members of these networks. Each group is facilitated by active school leaders and convenes virtually each month. In November 2022—a year after the initial groups were launched—three new networks were established thanks to NASSP members’ requests:

  • Women in School Leadership: A network for female principals and assistant principals to share professional challenges and opportunities they face and to provide and receive support.
  • Urban School Leaders: A network for principals and assistant principals working in urban settings.
  • Aspiring School Leaders: A network for educators considering or actively working toward the principalship or assistant principalship.

“When NASSP announced the beginning of a national women’s leadership network, I had to fight back tears,” says Monica Asher, the 2022 Ohio Principal of the Year. “Knowing that there will be space for women leaders across the country to connect and support one another is the best! My first administrative job was as an athletic director. It’s a very small percentage of women in secondary leadership. When you don’t see yourself reflected in those positions, it’s very difficult to advance and figure it out. Having a more diverse population of school leaders is incredibly important.”

Urban school leaders face a number of challenges in their districts, from large enrollments to frequent funding shortages. A network for these leaders enables them to discuss complex problems of practice that their leadership teams encounter daily.

Now more than ever, high levels of support and proactive insights for aspiring school leaders are needed to inspire future leaders to pursue their careers. That’s why NASSP has also created a network specifically for them.

When leaders come together, grow together, and learn together, a powerful sense of collective efficacy begins to form. Participants say that with each network meeting, they acquire more tools for their tool belts, and they gain confidence from their peers in leading their schools. The consensus on network gatherings? Definitely worth the time, energy, and effort.

For more on the Leadership Networks, visit