Leaders Learning from Leaders Series

October 18th, 2023

Episode 4: A Conversation with Dr. Charles Dedrick and Jacinda Hall Conboy Esq. of the New York State Council of School Superintendents

Episode Transcript

Episode Summary

About Dr. Charles Dedrick

Dr. Charles Dedrick, currently serving as the Executive Director at the New York State Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS), possesses a wealth of experience in education leadership. With over seven years in his current role, Chuck oversees the NYSCOSS’ operations, governance, and policy matters. He offers professional guidance, regional presentations, and fosters engagement with NYSCOSS. His career spans leadership roles as District Superintendent at Capital Region BOCES, Superintendent of Schools in Cohoes City School District, and Green Island School District. Chuck holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from The Sage Colleges-Sage Graduate School, along with several master’s degrees and a bachelor’s in Political Science from Excelsior University.

About Jacinda Hall Conboy, Esq. 

Jacinda Hall Conboy, Esq., known as “Jazz,” is the dedicated General Counsel at the New York State Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS), serving in this role for over a decade. A proud graduate of Albany Law School of Union University, she expertly handles negotiations of superintendents’ contracts and provides invaluable legal counsel. Jazz’s commitment to education law extends to educating NYSCOSS members through her engaging legal seminars. She is the driving force behind the Council’s Women’s Initiative in New York, empowering women in leadership roles. Jazz’s influence transcends borders as she leads workshops and discussions both statewide and nationally. Her outstanding contributions earned her the prestigious 2020 “Friend of AASA” award from the national superintendent’s association, AASA, recognizing her exceptional dedication to advancing public education. Jazz remains an unwavering advocate for superintendents and a fervent champion for women in leadership.


In this episode of Leaders Learning from Leaders, host Steve Barkley welcomes Dr. Charles Dedrick and Jacinda Conboy, Esq. from the New York State Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS). Chuck Dedrick serves as the Executive Director and Jazz Conboy is the General Counsel of NYSCOSS. The episode delves into their roles at the Council and their dedication to advocating for the success of children and communities served by their members.

Key Topics Discussed in the Episode:

  1. Advocacy for Children: Chuck Dedrick emphasizes the Council’s primary mission to support its members in their service to children and communities through advocacy. NYSCOSS is recognized as a respected advocate for education in New York State, known for its unwavering commitment to children’s success.
  2. Supporting Superintendents: Chuck and Jazz discuss their roles in supporting superintendents by providing professional development, mentorship, and guidance on leadership issues, including gender equity and women in leadership.
  3. Educating the Public: The discussion touches on the importance of superintendents’ role in educating their local communities and NYSCOSS’ focus on helping superintendents become effective communicators to address diverse needs across the state.
  4. Recruitment Challenges: Chuck and Jazz highlight the recruitment challenges facing the superintendency positions, including the lack of candidates, especially in roles like school psychologists and mental health professionals, which is exacerbated by the post-COVID mental health crisis.
  5. Succession Planning: The podcast explores how current superintendents can play a crucial role in mentoring and identifying the next generation of leaders, emphasizing the importance of diversity and opening doors for underrepresented groups.
  6. Changing Leadership Perspectives: Chuck and Jazz discuss the need to broaden leadership perspectives and encourage leaders to see potential in people who may differ from them in various ways.
  7. Diversity and Team Performance: The podcast concludes with a focus on the benefits of diversity in leadership teams and the importance of collaboration among superintendents to address challenges collectively.

The episode concludes with Chuck and Jazz sharing the website for NYSCOSS (nyscoss.org) for further information and resources. They expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to discuss their work and emphasized the significance of supporting superintendents in their mission to provide the best education for children.

Episode Highlights


Issues Facing Superintendents

Podcast Highlight – 2:40 mins


Advice For Other Leaders

Podcast Highlight – 2:17 mins

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