“No problem can stand the assault of sustained thinking” – Voltaire

Education Leaders

Results of the 2015 Benjamin B. Tregoe Strategic Leadership in Education Awards

In 2015, TregoED sought a way to honor school districts and leaders that have demonstrated their commitment to clear-sighted and courageous decision making and problem-solving. Thus began the inaugural year of the Benjamin B. Tregoe Strategic Leadership in Education Awards. Benjamin Tregoe believed that people are capable of great things if they work effectively together with the right tools and support. TregoED would like to recognize those people and the outstanding work that they are doing.


The 2015 Benjamin B Tregoe Strategic Leadership in Education Award Winners are:

Colorado Springs (CO) School District 11

Innovative use of root cause analysis to determine drivers of student achievement.

District 11 used Problem Analysis in order to ensure a stronger correlation between school improvement efforts and student achievement. Problem Analysis was used at the district level and with school improvement teams. Teams identified four major areas of root causes affecting student achievement. District departments realigned themselves to support schools in addressing these 4 root causes and schools have focused their efforts on research-based, high-impact solutions. "The increased ownership by individuals has caused an infusion of excitement because the path is clear, the work is more defined and the work is being supported. The identified root causes have illuminated "fixable" problems of practice." Instead of dozens of possible causes and solutions, the district and its schools are focusing efforts and resources on those that have been verified to be most relevant and influential.

Newton Conover (NC) City Schools

Collaborative decision making used to make critical hiring decision.

This district needed to replace an extremely popular and successful high school principal. A team used Decision Analysis to create the criteria and crafted interview questions. They then split up into interview teams, each with a different focus. When teams compared results, it became clear which candidates were consistently strong and which performed well only with some groups. "TregoED ensured no strong personalities swayed the group and that all voices were heard.... No longer does bias play a role in hiring and other decision-making processes. If board members or other stakeholders have questions, we can provide qualitative and quantitative data to share how crucial decisions were made."

Sewanhaka Central High School District (NY)

Budget allocations determined and bond referendum approved using TregoED collaborative decision-making process.

A district team used Decision Analysis in order to find three million dollars in savings from its operating budget. Every proposed cut was accompanied by a Potential Problem Analysis to assess and mitigate accompanying risks. The clear criteria, stakeholder input, and decision-making transparency resulted in not only the desired savings, but in "very little push back or outcry from the community as they understood the decision-making process." The district eventually had a successful voter-approved bond referendum - something that had never before been accomplished there.