Delaware Academy for School Leadership

DASL Executive Searches and Support

Finding the Perfect Fit

Let us help you find what you are looking for

The Delaware Academy for School Leadership is well positioned to support a school or district in their effort to locate their next Superintendent, Head of School, or other critically important educational leader.  DASL’s  goal is to assist the board in finding the very best candidate possible, one who will work collaboratively with all stakeholders over an extended period of time and who will produce excellent results that positively impact student outcomes.

As part of an award winning academic research institution at UD, DASL staff has access to faculty in the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy & Administration when conducting searches. 

DASL’s model helps Boards clarify their needs and expectations for the new superintendent, screening applicants, negotiates a final contract agreement, collaborates to set goals, assists with performance evaluation and performance reviews, and upon request provides coaching during the first year. 

The DASL Team is composed of Delaware career educators and leaders who have a proven track record and are well respected throughout the state and region.  Collectively, they are able to screen applicants and support the Board throughout the entire interviewing process, ensuring that the final candidate has the skills, knowledge, and characteristics necessary to meet qualifications and, more importantly, be successful in both the short and long run. 

Contact Dr. Mark Holodick at markh@udel.edu to discuss how DASL can tailor services to meet your needs and ultimately oversee a process that is highly professional, 

 confidential, and specific to the needs of your school or district.

DASL’s veteran staff can assist districts and schools with developing a strategic plan . Strategic planning is an organizational management activity that is used to set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations, ensure that employees and other stakeholders are working toward common goals, establish agreement around intended outcomes/results, and assess and adjust the organization’s direction in response to a changing environment. It is a disciplined effort that produces fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, who it serves, what it does, and why it does it, with a focus on the future. Effective strategic planning articulates not only where an organization is going and the actions needed to make progress, but also how it will know if it is successful.  DASL staff works collaboratively with the Board, Administrative Leadership Team, staff, and stakeholders to develop a strategic plan that is user friendly, understandable, and effectively guides the work of ALL in the district.

Contact Dr. Mark Holodick at markh@udel.edu to discuss how DASL can tailor services to meet your needs and ultimately oversee a process that is highly professional,  confidential, and specific to the needs of your school or district.

DASL works with School Boards to assist them in developing a collaborative board centered on policies and procedures.  DASL can tailor the sessions to address individual district needs.  Some topics are as follows:

  • Key Governance Team Principles
  • Standards of Operating Practice
  • Improving Communication Protocols
  • Working to Consensus
  • Adopting Policies/Agreements
  • Evaluation of Leadership

DASL uses case studies to have Boards think through  processes and policies they may encounter.  An example of a case study would be the following:

Case Study Example

The director, in collaboration with her instructional staff and input from teachers, has decided to implement mandatory instructional practices, which includes regular, daily formative assessment to drive data-informed instruction.  Currently these practices are widely being used by most successful schools both nationally and internationally.  It is a scientifically research-based practice and has shown significant results in schools where it is implemented and monitored with fidelity.  Several teachers have called various board members expressing their dislike of the “mandatory” practices, including the one described.  They believe this is just “one more thing” added to an already full plate of initiatives.  How will you respond to their concerns?

Contact Dr. Mark Holodick at markh@udel.edu to discuss how DASL can tailor services to meet your Board’s needs.

A strong, effective relationship between superintendents and school board members hinges upon clear definitions of each body’s duties and responsibilities. DASL can assist Boards and Superintendents in developing these relationships.   High performing districts require board members to focus on long‐term strategic planning and superintendents to focus on successfully  implementing policy.  Effective board/superintendent collaboration requires frequent, diplomatic communication both in and out of official settings. To ensure the timely fulfillment of strategic plans, school boards should conduct frequent, informal superintendent “check‐ups,” as well as extensive formal evaluations. The board should recognize these meetings as more than simply a time to critique the superintendent, and should use the opportunity to self‐evaluate and review district performance data.  Board members often enter their terms with limited knowledge of the exact nature of the superintendent’s administrative role, leading to role confusion and preconceived notions of a superintendent’s abilities. This initial period of unfamiliarity can cause tension between board members and superintendents, but can be avoided through extensive board member onboarding and continuous professional development.  While underperforming urban school district boards and superintendents face many of the same problems that other districts encounter, the extensive nature of reform required in these districts poses several leadership challenges. The length of urban district reform initiatives extends beyond usual board member terms. Urban districts can ensure policy longevity despite board turnover by building strong community relations and resident buy‐in. By convincing community leaders to support a reform, a district can help ensure that community members will continue to elect pro‐reform board members. 

Contact Dr. Mark Holodick at markh@udel.edu to discuss how DASL can tailor services to meet your Board’s needs.

Our Experienced Personnel Are Ready To Help

Mark Holodick brings to DASL over 20 years of administrative leadership experience in the PK-12 system.  In 2009, Dr. Holodick was appointed Superintendent of the Brandywine School District. Prior to being named Superintendent, he was Principal at Concord High School and at a blended middle and high school in the Delmar School District. Dr. Holodick was recognized as Administrator of the Year for 2016 by the Delaware Association of Educational Office Professionals and previously was named the School Administrator of the Year by the Delaware Association of School Librarians.  He is proud to have been recognized by peers and named 2017 Superintendent of the Year by the Delaware Chief School Officers Association.

Mark is ready to help out your organization today! Click on the “Become a Partner Button” above or contact Dr. Holodick at markh@udel.edu.