Harlem and The Bronx are a long way from Glen Rose, but that's where Glen Rose ISD Superintendent Wayne Rotan has spent the past few days as part of an advanced leadership program.

Rotan recently received a scholarship to attend the Lamar University Superintendent Academy, an advanced leadership training program on Lamar University's Beaumont campus. The year-long program is mostly held on weekends to provide professional growth opportunities with the least amount of time away from the district.

This past weekend and early part of this week Rotan and other superintendents convened at Columbia University and then visited schools in Harlem and The Bronx.

“I'm honored to be part of the academy and am excited to see what the schools in New York are doing to enhance their students' learning,” Rotan said.

Dr. Bob Thompson, the academy's executive director, said participation in the academy is by invitation only. The 26 superintendents in the 2011-2012 class were chosen from a list of about 70 nominees from Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Selection to the academy is an honor not only to the superintendent, but also to his or her board and district, Thompson said.

“Without the support of forward-looking boards, no superintendent could have achieved the level of success and recognition necessary to be selected to the academy,” he added.

At the academy, Rotan and other superintendents will review the latest technology for enhancing student learning and participate in advanced leadership training from some of the nation's foremost trainers of company executives.

They also will receive training in the Decision Support Center, a high-tech laboratory for improving the speed and quality of management decision making. Rotan also will have an opportunity to visit other school districts to review practices that have helped make those districts be successful.

“The knowledge superintendents glean from work in the academy is immediately applicable to any district, regardless of size or location,” Thompson said.

To assist districts in incorporating these management concepts, the academy will host a three-day “visioning session” in the spring for academy superintendents and their boards. They will be led through joint leadership training and planning activities. They will also meet with boards and superintendents from similar-sized districts to share ideas for increasing student achievement and developing a vision for the future.