The School of Education & Human Development, in partnership with the Business School’s Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship, hosted an inaugural two-day workshop for administrators of school districts across the Denver metro region. The focus: how to be an entrepreneurial leader in an educational environment.
The Oct. 18 and 19 seminar kicked off with keynote speaker Lloyd Lewan, executive dean and chairman of the Board Emeritus, Semester at Sea. His address, titled “Dare to be an Entrepreneur,” explored what it means to be a leader beyond management.
“Leadership is not about style or technique, it’s about who you are,” Lewan said to the group of about two dozen superintendents, principals, officers, and CU Denver faculty. He added, “The most important language on Earth is humility.”
Rebecca Kantor, dean of the School of Education & Human Development (SEHD), spearheaded the workshop. She meets with superintendents on an annual basis and saw the event as a way to further engage with local school districts. The Business School collaboration fit the entrepreneurial focus, which today is needed to navigate the complexity of public education, Kantor said.
Over the last few months, faculty members, advisors, and an entrepreneur-in-residence of the Jake Jabs Center developed exclusive workshops for these leaders in K12 education. Featured speakers included Dr. Arlen Meyers, Jim Lopresti, Jung Park, and Madhavan Parthasarathy, director of the Jake Jabs Center.
“When you think about school districts and education in general, things are pretty set in how they happen,” said Sarah Engel, assistant director of the Jake Jabs Center. “We are looking at that mold and how to think of it differently.”
The SEHD serves as a pipeline for educators and leaders in local school districts and beyond.
“We designed this learning event with our district partners knowing that perspectives and tools from outside our professional world can be very provocative and inspiring,” Kantor said. “Our Jabs Center colleagues helped us understand entrepreneurship as a mindset, that is, an attitude and a motivation to seek opportunity in a climate of scarce and uncontrollable resources. This seems very applicable to education.”