Rusty Stitt


Dr. Stitt is a faculty specialist in the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology in the College of Education and Human Development at Western Michigan University. He serves as the program coordinator for K-12 MA and Ed.S. programs, including being the faculty advisor for these students. Dr. Stitt earned an Ph.D. in educational leadership from Western Michigan University, an M.A. from Western Michigan University, and a B.A. from Indiana University.

Rusty was an K-12 administrator for over 20 years serving as an athletic director, assistant principal, principal and superintendent. He was recognized as a W.M.U. Golden Apple recipient in 2019 for his positive impact as a practitioner in leading his districts through systemic reform and having a positive impact on students and staff. Some of Dr, Stitt’s accomplishments include serving as principal for a school recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best high schools in America. As a superintendent he led his district by developing a shared vision and enacted meaningful changes for students and teachers including standards-based grading, STEM education for all K-8 students, project-problem based education, student-led conferences, one-to-one technology integration, teacher collaboration through PLCs, and an early middle college program that has increased the average number of college credits earned per graduate to 17.

  • Company Western Michigan University


Day 2
January 19, 2023
10:30 am

District Leadership that Works: A Panel Discussion with MASA Superintendents of the Year on how to Implement Research-Based Best Practices

19 January
Time:  10:30 am - 11:45 am
Location:  Prairies VI (Lower Level)

In this session attendees will learn from MASA Superintendents of the Year on how they have utilized research-based best practices. The panel consists of superintendents from rural, urban and suburban school districts. They will share their tools, techniques, and strategies along with how they have overcome obstacles to best serve and support their school communities.

The discussion will be based on the six district-level leadership responsibilities that significantly impact the superintendent's abilities to lead: goal setting process, non-negotiable goals for student achievement and instruction, board alignment supporting district goals, monitoring the goals, use of resources to support the goals, and providing a defined autonomy to principals (based on Marzano and Waters book, District Level Leadership that Works, 2009).

Attendee takeaways from our session:
* Gain an understanding of the evidence based best practices/responsibilities that correlate to student achievement.
* Learn the techniques, strategies and tools that recognized superintendents used when implementing evidence based best practices.
* Find ways to combat the many obstacles that superintendents face when implementing evidence based best practices.

1:45 pm

How to Build Staff Competence and Building a Safe Community for LGBTQ+ Students

Great Lakes III (Lower Level)
19 January
Time:  1:45 pm - 3:00 pm
Location:  Great Lakes III (Lower Level)

How is your school district addressing DEI? Learn how to support and train your staff in helping address the unconscious bias and heteronorms that are carried into the classroom and school practices that alienate students. See how professional development; especially role-playing simulations, aid in building a more inclusive culture that supports the LGBTQ+ students.

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