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Classified Leadership Academy

2024 Registration is Now Open!

Class Schedule for 2024
  • September 20th & 21st
  • October 18th & 19th
  • November 15th & 16th
Class Schedule for 2025
  • January 24th & 25th
  • February 21st & 22nd

Two Self-Paced Full-Day Workshops!

The Classified Leadership Academy (CLA) is a thorough training and professional development program designed to improve the leadership abilities of classified personnel. CLA is intended for present and aspiring classified managers and directors who wish to develop their leadership capacities. Potential benefits for the participants include expanding their general skillset, learning about legal requirements of management positions, networking opportunities, enhancing performance at work, and leadership development.
This course offers direct teaching from subject-matter specialists, group and individual exercises, practical activities, and a few self-paced workshops.

Classified Leader Certificate Program

Now more than ever, there is a great need in operational departments to lead in challenging times. Well-trained leaders are essential to support students and staff throughout a school district, whether in a role that supervises in a central office capacity or at another site. Strengthen your communication and leadership skills with research-based techniques, tools, and structuring devices to become a more effective leader and to build strong teams.

Many key leadership topics will be covered in the program, including:
  • What It Means to be a Leader
  • Establishing a Positive Work Culture
  • Being a First Time Leader and Moving from Co-Worker to Supervisor
  • How To Establish a Vision for your Department or Organization
  • Leading Change
  • Setting and Managing Projects and Priorities
  • Celebrating and Honoring Employees
  • The Leader as Communicator
  • Using Emotional Intelligence to Effectively Lead
  • Deciphering Contracts and Understanding Collective Bargaining Agreements
  • Strengthening Organizational Skills
  • Building Teams, Building People
  • The Basics of Understanding and Managing Budgets
  • High Impact Communication
  • Effective Meetings and Presentations
  • Establishing Collaborative Teams
  • Leading as a Multiplier

Comprehensive Curriculum

This program emphasizes specific and pragmatic skills that classified leaders need to know to be able to thrive as a school business leader. The content of this academy is presented in an online lecture and discussion format, relying upon class interactions, small group breakouts, and out-of-class assignments/practical applications that are built on a leadership inventory with skills you want to enhance to be a stronger leader.  Unlike other courses, there will be no quizzes for the Classified Leadership Academy but rather applications of the lessons learned in modules with job applications that can also be used in the design of a portfolio for future leadership roles.


The TSS Classified Leader Certificate Program has been created as a comprehensive program designed to introduce new or strengthen current leadership skills of aspiring or current directors in roles such as payroll, accounting, audit roles, risk management, technology, food and nutrition, purchasing, warehouse, maintenance, operations, facilities, worker’s compensation, benefits, and human resources roles. This program is helpful for those who have not been through leadership credential or Master’s Degree programs, focusing on those leaders and prospective leaders who have come up through school district roles without the direct coursework in leadership.
The course’s group atmosphere will encourage team building, visioning, and general leadership skills to effectively manage, while providing an opportunity for participants to expand their skill sets in a challenging yet encouraging environment.  Specialized assignments and class projects are done individually designed to help establish voice, presence, and authentic leadership skills for current or future roles. Participants who successfully complete the course will be issued an TSS Classified Leader Certificate.


  1. Attendance and Participation – Participants are expected to attend and contribute in all sessions and must attend all classes in order to receive the TSS Classified Leader Certificate. If an emergency arises, one session may be made-up by writing and an academic paper on the missed classes’ subject matter with pre-approval by the program’s director.
  2. Presentation - Participants are required to present one 10-minute PowerPoint/Google presentation on a topic related to leadership in his/her school district.
  3. Readings – Various readings will be assigned during the academy and discussion groups between classes will help deepen the learning.  Students will analyze readings and participate in group discussions or writing assignments to apply concepts to real world school district situations.
  4. Assessments – Activities will be used to deepen and apply the learning. These activities, called homework assignments, will all need to be completed and submitted before earning the Classified Leader Certificate.

Course Currilcum

    • What is Leadership? 00:00:00
    • Transitioning to Supervisor 00:00:00
    • Generations in the Workplace 00:00:00
    • Developing a Vision 00:00:00
    • Start with WHY – How Leaders Inspire Action 00:00:00
    • Intentional Leadership 00:00:00
    • Team and Department Culture 00:00:00
    • Homework #1 – Leadership Self Assessment 6 months
    • Leading the Change Process 00:00:00
    • Building Teams 00:00:00
    • Crucial Conversations 00:00:00
    • Homework Instructions 6 months
    • Homework #2 – Change Process 6 months
    • Collaborative Decision Making 00:00:00
    • Time Management 00:00:00
    • Building Trust 00:00:00
    • Homework#4 – Trust 6 months
    • Homework #5 – Structuring Devices 12 months
    • Succession Planning 00:00:00
    • SMART Goals 00:00:00
    • Effective Communication & Infographics 00:00:00
    • Understanding Your Team 00:00:00
    • Project & Priority Management 00:00:00
    • Making Meetings Matter 00:00:00
    • Homework – Weekend #3 6 months
    • HR for Classified Leaders 00:00:00
    • The Documentation Process 00:00:00
    • Weekend #4 – Homework Assignment – Letter of Reprimand 6 months
    • Recognizing & Appreciating Others Encouragement Matrix 00:00:00
    • Good Leaders Ask Great Questions 00:00:00
    • Tech for Productivity 00:00:00
    • Weekend #4 – Homework Assignment – Action Plan for Acknowledging & Rewarding Others 6 months
    • Revisiting & Addressing Conflict 00:00:00
    • Feedback & Coaching 00:00:00
    • Personal Learning Networks 00:00:00
    • Strengthening Your Emotional Intelligence 00:00:00
    • Homework: Create an Infographic with data from your team performance 00:00:00
    • Personal Goal Setting 00:00:00
    • Finding that Next Job 00:00:00
    • Leading with Fun 00:00:00
    • Using Technology & Personal Learning Networks 00:00:00
    • Teambuilding 00:00:00
    • Mindfulness & Resilience, Authenticity 00:00:00
    • Lead with FUN 00:00:00
    • Ethics in the Workplace & Leadership 00:00:00
    • The Multiplier Effect 00:00:00
    • Self Paced Day 1 – Homework 6 months
    • Situational Leadership 00:00:00
    • Self Paced Day #2, Homework #1 – Situational Leadership 6 months
    • Inclusive Interviews 00:00:00
    • Self Paced Day #2, Homework #2 – Inclusive Interviews 6 months

Course Reviews


2 ratings
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  1. Jorge, Fiscal DirectorMarch 5, 2024 at 8:57 am
    Classified Leadership Academy

    Dr. Gonzales has a wealth of knowledge that she tries to pass down through this course. As someone who has a lot of industry knowlege it was great to get some of her information passed down to me, as well as the fellow participants.

    As a current director, there is always room from growth and this course helped me along that path. Seeing items from different perspecitves allows for growth and the further progression not only through my career but also as a human being.

    Would recommend to anyone who is thinking of growing within their career and looking to move into management. This would be helpful to them and they would gain an enormous amount of wisdom and information that can be used in the future.

  2. The most rewarding course I've taken since graduating college!

    This course is challenging, uncomfortable, and EXACTLY what I needed! Lisa is not only your instructor, she is your coach who helps you think outside the box and push yourself beyond where you thought you were capable. I’m completing this course with more confidence and drive for success. Thank you for lighting this fire again!

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