The Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning at St. Andrew’s, in collaboration with individual faculty from Tufts University’s Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, and the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, will co-host the first Mind, Brain, and Whole Child Coaching Convening on November 20 and 21, 2019.

Educators from early childhood to higher education have increasingly turned to research findings from the science of learning and development to inform and transform teaching, knowledge acquisition, and the whole child’s educational experience. What if this same research were applied to educating and strengthening skill sets of over 6.5 million youth, high school, college, elite, Olympic, and professional-level athletic coaches in the United States, who are responsible for shaping our developing athletes?

This first-of-its-kind convening is bringing together youth and university sport coaches, educators, mental health professionals, academic researchers, and leading child, youth, and athlete development organizations. The convening aims to be the launch for the next frontier of youth to professional athlete coach training that embeds the learning sciences into coach education, training, and certification programs.

The field of Mind, Brain, and Whole Child Coaching would be the first program grounded in the science of learning and development that integrates our current understanding of how each unique athlete’s mind and brain learns, works, changes, and thrives. The convening will begin the work of answering questions such as, “Why do 70% of young athletes quit organized sport by the age of 13, and why are attrition rates higher for females?” as well as “How do we elevate the awareness and training of coaches to fully manifest the important role they play in the life-long development of the whole child?”

The convening’s long-term goal is to create programs, resources, trainings, and a new academic field that enhances coach skills and capacity, and in doing so, elevates the odds of myriad long-term positive life outcomes for young athletes – regardless of race, class, or gender – including positive mental and physical health, life-skill development, quality of life, and longevity.


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Austin Chamber To Stage ‘Stage Of Education’ Event

The State of Education event at the Hilton Austin hotel on Thursday will explore how businesses help students prepare for the future.

By Tony Cantu, Patch

The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce will honor the Superintendent of the Year and recipients of its Business Champions in Education awards and District Awards for Educational Excellence this week.

The State of Education event at the Hilton Austin hotel is scheduled on Thursday, Nov. 14. Education Business Champions were identified by regional chambers of commerce, chamber officials noted, adding that the District Awards for Educational Excellence were determined by data submitted by individual campuses. Both sets of award winners will be recognized at the State of Education event.

The State of Education will explore how businesses help students prepare for the future through apprenticeship programs, student/career speaking, mentoring, internships, skilled-trade programs, and educator externships.


What: State of Education.

Who: Special guest speaker Roy Spence, chairman and co-founder, GSD&M and author of the books The Amazing Faith of Texas and It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For: Why Every Extraordinary Business Is Driven By Purpose.

Where: Hilton Austin.

When: 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Price: $65 for members, $75 for nonmembers.

For more information, visit https://www.austinchamber.com/events/state-of-education-talent-for-tomorrows-workforce.

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Should Skills Training Replace Higher Education?

By Tom Vander Ark, Forbes

With $1.5 trillion in college debt weighing down the economic trajectories of young Americans, many high school students and their families are considering career pathways over traditional liberal arts education.

In response to widespread criticism and shrinking enrollments, retired Indiana University professor George Kuh said, “privileging short-term job training over demanding educational experiences associated with high levels of intellectual, personal, and social development…is a bad idea for individuals, for the long-term vitality of the American economy, and for our democracy.”

There are obvious and long-term benefits to a liberal arts education (see Fareed Zakaria’s 2015 book In Defense of a Liberal Education), but compounded price hikes (resulting from rising costs and reduced public support) make the risk of debt without a degree the new worst-case scenario for Gen-Z.

The new rule for young people is, as Ryan Craig outlines in A New U, go to a good selective school for free if you can, and if you are motivated by the opportunity. If you don’t get a free ride to a good selective university, look for a free (or debt-free) sprint to a good first job.

More new rules for today’s students: 

1. Build your resume while in high school. From site visits to job shadowing, internships and client-related projects, and gig work, the best way for students to discover what inspires them (and, alternatively, what is soul-sucking) is to try out different fields. It’s the smart way that high school students are informing their postsecondary choices.

2. Secure college credits before graduating. This is the definitive approach to making college completion both faster and cheaper. Students have access to an expanding variety of (free) college credit options; in addition to Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate, concurrent enrollment and stackable badges also extend access.

In partnership with community colleges, more than 400 early college high schools across the country enable students to earn an associate’s degree with their high school diploma. Texas has 199 early college high schools and 63 P-TECH high schools that add business partnerships and work experiences.

3. Don’t take on debt without a clear sense of purpose. College for college’s sake no longer offers economically disadvantaged students a ticket into the middle class and ongoing job security. Don’t take on debt without a clear sense of purpose and high likelihood of degree completion.

4. Aim for sustainable, lifelong learning. For the last hundred years, the formula has been 16 to 20 years of education, followed by 40 years of work; the new rule is 60 years (or more) of earn and learn. For those that choose technical training after high school, there is a lifetime to add (free or inexpensive) liberal arts education.

With a good handle on the ladder of opportunity’s first rung, build an earn and learn ladder that incorporates the liberal arts—enabling a richer, more holistic educational experience—and study with purpose and intentionality.

To Dr. Kuh’s question, should skills training replace higher education? The answer is yes; free and debt-free skills training should replace expensive wandering while developing maturity and a sense of purpose and racking up debt—it’s dangerous for individuals and a drag on the economy as a whole.

His question is a dated construct. It’s not a “go to work” or “go to college” question anymore. Instead, it should be “what’s the best path to purposeful contribution and a lifetime of learning?”


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Elevating Student Voice in Education

By Meg Benner, Catherine Brown, and Ashley Jeffrey

Center for American Progress

Introduction and summary

Students have the greatest stake in their education but little to no say in how it is delivered. This lack of agency represents a lost opportunity to accelerate learning and prepare students for a world in which taking initiative and learning new skills are increasingly paramount to success.

When it comes to student engagement, there is a predictable and well-documented downward trajectory as students get older. According to a 2016 Gallup poll that measured student engagement, about three-quarters of fifth graders—an age at which students are full of joy and enthusiasm for school—report high engagement in school.1 By middle school, slightly more than one-half of students report being engaged.2 In high school, however, there is a precipitous drop in engagement, with just about one-third of students reporting being engaged.3 Similar to the drop in engagement, a recent poll from The New Teacher Project (TNTP) found that students see less value in their work and assignments with each subsequent year of school.

There are limited studies that show a direct connection between student engagement and students valuing their education and opportunities to make their voices heard. Many advocates and researchers encourage schools to create opportunities for students to participate in decisions about their education as a means of increasing student engagement and investing students in their education.

The authors of this report define “student voice” as student input in their education ranging from input into the instructional topics, the way students learn, the way schools are designed, and more. Increasing student voice is particularly important for historically marginalized populations, including students from Black, Latinx, Native American, and low-income communities as well as students with disabilities.

Given the assumption that student voice can increase student engagement, such efforts to give students more ownership of their education may be linked to improvements in student outcomes. 6 For example, a 2006 Civic Enterprises report, which surveyed a diverse group of 16- to 24-year-old adults who did not graduate high school, found that 47 percent of respondents indicated that “classes were not interesting” as the main reason they dropped out.7 Sixty-nine percent of participants said that they were not motivated to work hard.8 Interestingly, the percentage of students who did not feel inspired to work hard increased among students with lower GPAs; among high-, medium-, and low-GPA students, 56 percent, 74 percent, and 79 percent reported not feeling inspired to work hard, respectively. Surveyed students and focus groups emphasized the need for student voice in curricula development, improved instruction practices, and increased graduation rates.9

States, districts, schools, and teachers can solicit and incorporate student voice in many ways. Some of these strategies fundamentally change the way that schools and systems operate, and others are more marginal. This report provides an overview of eight approaches that teachers, school leaders, and district and state policymakers can use to incorporate student voice: student surveys; student perspectives on governing bodies such as school, local, state decision-makers; student government; student journalism; student-led conferences; democratic classroom practices; personalized learning; and youth participatory action research (YPAR).

Implementation of these strategies matters greatly. Efforts to incorporate student voice are stronger when they include the following elements: intentional efforts to incorporate multiple student voices, especially those that have been historically marginalized; a strong vision from educational leaders; clarity of purpose and areas of influence; time and structures for student-adult communication; and, most importantly, trust between students and educators.10 Policymakers and educators should also incorporate principles of universal design to ensure that these efforts are accessible to all students and recognize the voices of all students, including students with disabilities and students whose first language is not English.

This report concludes with policy recommendations for school, district, and state policymakers.

Youth activism has been in the spotlight of late due to several high-profile efforts, including the advocacy of youth who oppose the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program as well as the Parkland, Florida, students who galvanized around meaningful gun control.11 Youth have also crafted public opposition letters to education officials to protest policies that perpetuate the school-to-prison pipeline and its disproportionate criminalization of Black and Latinx students, LGBTQ students, and students with disabilities.12 For instance, a group of youth activists called the Voices of Youth in Chicago Education were instrumental in driving the narrative and advocating for statewide change that resulted in the 2015 passage of SB 100 in Illinois, which addressed harsh, punitive discipline policies in school.13

This youth activism is remarkable and helps change the debate on key issues facing the United States. This report, however, focuses on incorporating student voice within existing educational institutions.

What is student voice?

 The authors of this report define student voice as authentic student input or leadership in instruction, school structures, or education policies that can promote meaningful change in education systems, practice, and/or policy by empowering students as change agents, often working in partnership with adult educators.14

Expert definitions of student voice

“At the simplest level, student voice can consist of young people sharing their opinions of school problems with administrators and facility. Student voice initiatives can also be more extensive, for instance, when young people collaborate with adults to address the problems in their schools—and in rare cases when youth assume leadership roles to change efforts.”15

–Dana Mitra, a Pennsylvania State University scholar on education policy and student voice

“[A] broad term describing a range of activities that can occur in and out of school. It can be understood as expression, performance, and creativity and as co-constructing the teaching/learning dynamic. It can also be understood as self-determined goal-setting or simply as agency.”16

­–Eric Toshalis, senior director of impact at KnowledgeWorks who focuses on student engagement and motivation

Experts on student voice, including Mitra and Toshalis, describe student voice as a spectrum or pyramid to illustrate that different forms of student engagement foster different levels of agency.17 On the one hand, adults gather and use student perspectives, feedback, and opinions to inform change. On the other hand, students participate in decision-making bodies that drive change.18 Student agency increases as students assume more leadership and have greater responsibility and accountability in instruction or policy changes.

All forms of student voice can be important and can meaningfully influence instruction, schools, and policies. But each approach has trade-offs, and one may be more appropriate to achieve certain goals than others. For example, schoolwide or districtwide surveys provide a snapshot in time with answers to a limited number of largely multiple-choice questions and often measure changes in the views of a large group of students over time. Student leadership through governing bodies or YPAR can allow for meaningful and extended conversations about complex topics and implementation; in most instances, however, this approach engages fewer students.


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Hassan introduces bill on college credit for high schoolers

By Associated Press

New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan is leading a bipartisan effort to help more students earn college credit while still in high school.

Hassan, a Democrat, recently introduced a bill co-sponsored by Republican Sen. Todd Young of Indiana to create a federal grant program to support early college programs. The Fast Track To and Through College Act would allow high students to take up to a full year of college courses, require public colleges and universities to accept credit from such programs and would expand access to the programs.

Hassan says New Hampshire has been a leader in enabling high schoolers to earn college credit, with nearly 100 high schools offering the Running Start program in partnership with the state’s community college system.

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Young wants more high schoolers to earn college credits

By Ripon Advance News Service

U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) on Oct. 30 proposed a bipartisan bill that would give more American students the chance to earn college credits while they’re attending high school.

“Our bill aims to provide resources so states can create a fast track pathway for students that includes access to advanced coursework, dual credits, and professional support,” Sen. Young said.

The lawmaker is the lead original cosponsor of the Fast Track To and Through College Act, S. 2736, with bill sponsor U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) to increase rates of college completion and reduce college costs by accelerating time to degree, aligning secondary and postsecondary education, and improving postsecondary credit transfer, according to the congressional record bill summary.

“Early college programs help families avoid college debt while preparing students for postsecondary education,” said Sen. Young. “In Indiana, we have seen great success from programs like these.”

If enacted, S. 2736 would allow students enrolled in early college programs to take as much as a full year of early college courses toward their postsecondary degree or credential; require public colleges and universities to accept credit from early-college programs; and expand access to such programs by allowing Pell Grants to cover dual-enrollment costs for low-income, eligible students in states receiving a fast-track grant, according to a bill summary provided by the senators.

States would receive funding priority if they can demonstrate that they have existing policies to encourage early college completion, commit to developing multiple fast track pathways that include career and technical education programs, and prioritize fast track access to historically underrepresented students, according to the summary.

The bill, which has been referred for consideration to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, has received several endorsements, including from the Alliance for Excellent Education, Education Reform Now, Jobs For The Future, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

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In 20 years, Austin’s population will be 4.5M. Here’s what Austin will look like

By Terri Gruca, KVUE

Every 20 years Austin’s population has doubled.

That’s why KVUE started a series titled, “Boomtown 2040,” a campaign dedicated to reporting on the opportunities and the challenges of Austin’s growth.

In the month of November, KVUE begins “Boomtown 2040 – Tomorrow’s ATX.” Over the next few weeks, KVUE will take a deep dive into what Austin will look like in the next 20 years and how it could impact you.

There’s only one place to start.

If it’s in the cards, Daniel Guerrero can read it. For 20 years he’s looked to tarot cards to help predict outcomes for those seeking advice.

“You can do a reading on anything,” he said.

This is the first time he’s read the City of Austin.

As he cut the cards, Guerrero sat down several in front of him on the table. Then, he started to read.

“There are some difficult times ahead,” he said.

He’s not the only one weighing in on what Austin will look like in 20 years.

Drew Scheberle has had a front-row seat to Austin’s growth working at the Austin Chamber of Commerce. He is the senior vice president of education and talent development for the chamber.

“We double every 20 years and have been doing so since 1880 so this city will double to roughly about 4.5 million people,” he said.

In 2040, Austin will be a lot more crowded. It will look more like Houston than the Austin we know today.

“This is clearly a boomtime for Austin,” Guerrero said as he read the cards in front of him.

The people will likely look different, too.

“There’s also this deep-seated cultural displacement that’s happening this cultural erasure,” said Virginia Cumberbatch, director of equity and community advocacy for the Center of Community Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin.

The cards show the challenges.

“It looks like it may be losing touch with what people came here to experience,” Guerrero said.

Growing Austin-area suburbia

Most families will live in the suburbs.

“Huge growth in Asian households, huge growth in Hispanic households, modest growth in African American households,” said Ryan Robinson, the City of Austin demographer. Robinson has been tracking the changes in Austin for decades.

Guerrero said the cards show “continued prosperity overall.”

Tech, medical and government industries will drive jobs. Single people, professionals and seniors will take over Downtown Austin.

The Austin Chamber of Commerce annual report for 2018 shows 9,424 people moved to Austin because companies relocated offices or headquarters to Austin.

The ‘silver tsunami’ reaches Austin

“Lots and lots of older households are being attracted to Austin,” Robinson said. “Some people call it the grandparent connection.”

Seniors are moving to the city to follow their children – who move here for work – and to be around their grandchildren.

“There’s a lot of positive energy in the city,” Guerrero said, looking at the cards.

The City refers to this trend as the “silver tsunami.” However, it’s not just the kind of people attracted here, but the buildings being designed.

“This is it – the living room, dining room, kitchen, the bedroom,” said Jenna Pickering, a music promoter with C3 Presents, as she showed KVUE around her Downtown condo.

She moved to Austin in 2015 and bought a 563-square-foot condo two years later. She would love more space but her small condo was all she could afford.

Higher-density, expensive housing to pepper Austin

Those smaller footprints, higher density housing, will be the norm in Austin in 2040. And prices? Well, brace yourself for what’s to come.

“Job growth is the number-one driver of real estate prices and so we can probably expect our pricing to fall in line with cities like New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles,” said Austin-area realtor Chris Watters.

According to PwC’s and the Urban Land Institute’s annual “Emerging Trends in Real Estate” reportAustin is No. 6 with population growth. That’s more than three times the national rate due to significant in-migration, plus factors such as younger demographics and high labor force productivity.

Apple plans to build a $1 billion campus in Austin that will create at least 5,000 jobs.

Commuting will get worse in Austin

Without increased ground transit, commute times could double by 2040.

Austin could be the 10th largest city in the United States by that time. Austin’s airport will reflect that.

“We’re going to have an airport the size of Minneapolis. An airport that’s going to have double,” said Drew Scheberle with Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA).

In 2018, ABIA experienced record passenger traffic with 15.8 million passengers, an increase of more than 1.9 million over 2017. Eleven carriers announced 42 new routes out of ABIA, and this fall, the first non-stop flights to Paris was announced.

As Austin looks to the future, we must ‘keep the magic’

One card stands out to Guerrero in his reading. It’s the magic card.

“Making sure we keep the magic. That is showing up as one of the main concerns,” he said.

The changes are already taking shape. Plans are in the works for transportation, housing and jobs. Decisions about affordability, diversity and future growth are what will determine whether this city is a place we want to call home.

And those are the issues “Boomtown 2040 – Tomorrow’s ATX” will address in the coming weeks. There is a lot at stake and many of us hold the cards.

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Education Reform Now National President Shavar Jeffries Releases Statement Praising New Fast Track Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Education Reform Now (ERN) National President Shavar Jeffries released the below statement on the “Fast Track To and Through College Act,” introduced today by U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Todd Young (R-IN).

The bill authorizes competitive grants for states to develop Fast Track Pathways from high school to higher education, allowing college-ready, high school seniors to either earn a year of transferable college credit while in high school or graduate high school a year early with a scholarship for use at any in-state public university.

“The Fast Track to and Through College Act is the type of bold, transformative legislation our nation needs to help combat the rising costs of higher education, while also increasing college competition rates,” said Jeffries.

By rethinking the transition from high school to higher education, this bill empowers families to make a choice that best meets students’ academic, financial and personal needs.”

“I applaud Senators Hassan and Young for their bipartisan leadership on behalf of our nation’s students, and I urge Congress to incorporate this legislation as they rewrite of the Higher Education Act. It’s long past time we rethink 12th Grade.” 

# # #

The Fast Track legislation builds off an idea first developed by Education Reform Now & the Alliance for Excellent Education. Watch our two-minute video on the concept.

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All4Ed President Deb Delisle Praises New Legislation to Rethink Twelfth Grade

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Todd Young (R-IN) introduced the Fast Track To and Through College Act, a bill that would increase college completion and reduce college costs by allowing academically prepared high school students to take the equivalent of their freshman year of college free-of-charge during their senior year of high school. In response, Alliance for Excellent Education President Deb Delisle made the following statement in support of the bill.

“At a time of soaring college costs and increased ‘senioritis,’ the Fast Track To and Through College Act keeps students engaged in their education, saves them money, and helps them earn credits toward their college degree. That’s a home run in my book.

“The bill would provide a faster, less expensive path to a college degree for roughly 850,000 high school students—nearly one third of whom are students from low-income families.

“I thank and congratulate Senators Hassan and Young for this creative approach to rethink the twelfth grade for students who may no longer be challenged by high school coursework and are already eyeing their postsecondary education.

“As members of Congress work to rewrite the Higher Education Act to open college doors and reduce costs for more students, I urge them to consider the approach outlined in the Fast Track To and Through College Act.”

For more information on the Fast Track To and Through College Act, visit

Read statements from U.S. Senators Hassan and Young on the bill at https://www.hassan.senate.gov/news/press-releases/senators-hassan-young-introduce-bipartisan-fast-track-to-and-through-college-act.

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What does it mean to be a 21st century leader?

By, Kellie Lauth, Denver Business Journal

For organizations, the definition of success is changing. According to Deloitte’s 2018 Human Capital Trends report, financial success is just one piece of the puzzle. Today, organizations are also evaluated on their impact on society at large.

Success also takes into account how leaders treat their employees, not just their customers and partners. With the parameters of success changing, what it means to be a good leader is changing, too.

The stereotypical, hardened boss of the 1950s is no longer the norm. While the inherent qualities of a leader remain the same, with a focus on integrity, accountability, commitment, decision-making skills and good communication, the expectations we have of the 21st century leader are evolving, just as they are for workplace standards.

Human capital is the most important commodity of any business. Without proper employee engagement, business goals can suffer. This is why we’re seeing an increased emphasis on work-life balance, empathy and equality in the workplace and more collaboration among departments.

What can leadership teams do to instill these qualities? I’ve found that there are four adjustments you can make to prioritize empathy, trust and innovation — all while boosting morale.

1. Leverage your talent

One way to keep employees engaged and passionate about their jobs is to leverage their talents. This may mean encouraging them to grow their skills in areas of interest where they may not have experience. For instance, if the chief marketing officer expressed an interest in graphic design, advise them to look into programs to obtain those skills. Not only do they benefit from gaining another career-ready skill; the organization benefits from the end result.

It also means first tapping into your own resources — your staff — for innovative ideas. Product troubleshooting can benefit from bringing a variety of minds together. Invite the creative team to brainstorm with the product managers. A recent Salesforce report revealed that employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to perform their best work.

By supporting your colleagues in their endeavors and showing interest in their ideas, you create more loyalty toward your company and brand. Employees then feel more invested in the organization’s success.

2. Elevate your colleagues 

Give credit where it is due. While it may seem obvious, leaders don’t always follow through in recognizing individual accomplishments. It’s not uncommon for individual successes to be touted as team accomplishments. Downplaying key players’ roles can be construed in such a way that makes them feel their work wasn’t valued.

Additionally, leadership teams can offer out-of-the-box training to bring learning opportunities to the organization. Workforce training doesn’t have to be monotonous or boring. Topics like design thinking, mindfulness and social-emotional learning are relevant for all industries and can promote better team communication and innovative changes in the workplace.

By recognizing work when it’s due and investing in professional learning opportunities, leaders show that they value their employees.

Denver Business Journal Leadership Trust is an invitation-only network of influential business leaders, executives and entrepreneurs in your community. Do I qualify?

3. Align your teams

Sure, finance departments are separate from creative departments for a reason, but silos are detrimental to the workplace. Not only do they slow workflow and result in convoluted communication, but silos also block potential innovation and creativity.

Create a more collaborative culture by ensuring employees have the communication vehicles to work together. Is half the staff remote? Consider Skype or Slack for easy instant messaging. There are also a number of cloud platforms to choose from, like Google Drive or Box, that let teams work on files together in real time.

Additionally (and circling back to the importance of training), teams that have professional learning experiences together using cross-departmental exercises learn how to best communicate with one another.

4. Demonstrate empathy

One of the best ways an organization can prove its dedication to a healthy workplace culture is by ensuring leadership lives by the culture they want to have. The golden rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” comes into play here. Leadership does not mean being condescending, demanding and rigid in order to get results. In fact, empathy is proven to drive results and retain employees. BusinessSolver recently shared that 93% of employees they surveyed said they’re more likely to stay with an empathetic employer.

A CEO’s story of kindness, in which he provided an employee additional sick days with pay and even wrote her a check to help with financial worries, went viral this summer. What touched readers wasn’t that the CEO provided his employee with money; it was that he cared about her well-being. He empathized with the plight of the working parent and offered what many wouldn’t — a paid day off even after sick leave was exhausted.

Leadership is at the root of any organization’s success. Living by example to show compassion and encourage collaboration and innovation creates equity in your human capital. By committing to these four changes in the workplace, leaders become the catalyst for their organization’s growth and development.

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