Wally Zastrow Leadership Academy

How often do you think about your leadership development? No matter what your title is, you lead every day. You lead your boss, you lead your colleagues, and you lead yourself. The Academy provides practical leadership skills for school business officials. Register for the 2023-24 Leadership Academy now!


"The best learning experience WASBO has!"

Recent Graduates Reflect on Experience


Wally Zastrow Leadership Academy Instructor

Brett Remington

Brett Remington is a true blue rock star at Blue Rock WI – an enterprise-based performance improvement organization that helps people and organizations narrow the gap between their performance and potential.  

Brett’s focus on enterprise-based performance improvement considers all the factors that drive outcomes in complex environments in order to achieve meaningful and sustained improvement.  These include  
leadership effectiveness, organizational governance, strategy development and deployment, customer and market knowledge, information and knowledge management, work systems design, change management strategies and employee well-being, business process design and continuous improvement methods. 

Learn more about Brett at linkedin.com/in/brettremington

Participant Expectations

Participants will need to attend all academy sessions and complete assignments provided at each. Assignments are incorporated into your typical day and all aspects of your life. Participants will also need to complete a leadership development goal and a school improvement project for their home district which upgrades the district staff’s efficiency or transparency.

Discussion of what kind of school improvement project and how to manage and lead through this opportunity will take place and time will be allocated for discussing projects at each session. Participants will create their presentation in a simple format and present it prior to graduation. The school improvement project is a way to give back to your district for participating in the Leadership Academy. 

Leadership Academy Graduates


  • Keith Brightman
  • Josh Carter
  • Julie Holman
  • Cherryl Knowles
  • Carmen O'Brien
  • Dave O'Mara
  • Debra Ytzen
  • David Ziegelbauer


  • Michelle Brown
  • Luke Butz
  • Jason Demerath
  • Tim Gorecki
  • Jake Holtz
  • Wendy LaPointe
  • Patrick Miller
  • Davita Jo Molling
  • Erica Pickett
  • Ryan Quinn
  • Matthew Van Zeeland
  • Andy Wegner


  • JoAnn Armstrong
  • Jennifer Buros
  • Sarah Duncan
  • Steven Eichman
  • Michele Eilbes
  • Jeremiah Johnson
  • Scott Johnson
  • John Stangler
  • Karl Volkmann
  • John Stellmacher


  • Brian Adesso
  • Mike Barry
  • Jeffrey Bloch
  • Alayna Burger
  • Holly Burr
  • John Gahan
  • Colin Jacobs
  • Pete Kempen
  • Joseph Marquardt
  • Joanie Niemiec
  • Patty Sprang
  • Dan Storch
  • Veronica VanDerhyden
  • Sarah Viera
  • Vicki Waller


  • Andrew Chromy
  • Hilary Cordova
  • Jeanne Deimund
  • Janel DeZarn
  • Lynette Edwards
  • Tim Erickson
  • Shannon Grindell
  • Lynn Knight 
  • Jeffrey Mahoney 
  • Jonathan Mitchell
  • Kathy Stoltz
  • Woody Wiedenhoeft
  • Michael Williamson
  • Caitlin Windler

Leadership Impact

Session I: Taking Your Leadership Pulse
October 19-20, 2023 • Holiday Inn at the American Center, Madison
  • Assess your current leadership strengths and opportunities to grow.
  • Develop a leadership goal to strengthen your effectiveness as a leader.
  • Identify the three core values to guide your daily practice of leadership.
  • Explore how changing your mindset can make you a better leader.
  • Better understand the role of failure in becoming an exceptional leader.
  • Build an Academy team to support you on your leadership journey.
  • Master the technology used to support your success in the Academy.
Session II: The Leader as an Innovator
November 9-10, 2023 • Holiday Inn at the American Center, Madison
  • Review your emotional intelligence assessment and target 1 area to improve.
  • Understand the leader's role in organizational innovation.
  • Practice the 5 skills of innovative leaders.
  • Create a systematic approach to organizational innovation.
  • Develop new problem-solving skills involving creativity/design thinking.
Session III: The Leader as a Communicator
December 7-8, 2023 • Holiday Inn at the American Center, Madison
  • Identify your preferred communication style and strengths (True Colors Assessment.)
  • Become more effective working with styles that clash with yours.
  • Prepare for and practice having candid conversations.
  • Develop new listening skills.
  • Practice your storytelling skills to create stronger connections.
Session IV: Building High Performance Teams
February 1-2, 2024 • Holiday Inn at the American Center, Madison
  • Develop a team culture that supports high performance.
  • Experiment with the power of expectations to understand its relationship performance.
  • Create a User Manual so team members know what you expect when working with you.
  • Practice leading a meeting in real time to solve a problem in a high-performance context.
 Session V: The Leader as a Change Agent
March 13-14, 2024 • Holiday Inn at the American Center, Madison
  • Explore an effective change management model.
  • Develop strategies for leading and sustaining change.
  • Learn new tools for implementing and effecting change in complex environments.
  • Practical ways to motivate followers in the change process.
  • Learn when to make a decision yourself and when to make a group decision.
Session VI: Focus on the Future
April 24-25, 2024 • Holiday Inn at the American Center, Madison
  • Learn what it means to engage upstream thinking
  • Apply everything you learned to date to work on a real-world problem.
  • Learn new techniques about how to build community and balance stakeholder expectations.
  • Build your leadership system to help navigate major change.
  • Leverage the purpose of leadership to pursue your mission and future.

Academy Graduation
May 16-17, 2024 • WASBO Spring Conference
Attendees that successfully complete the academy will be recognized at the WASBO Spring Conference.




Thank you to our Wally Zastrow Leadership Academy Sponsor Attolles Law, s.c.!

Graduate Testimonials

“The Wally Zastrow Leadership Academy provided me personalized professional development. Our class developed a camaraderie and we were able to talk about specific challenges we faced on a daily basis. The facilitators provided tools to help with the challenges! The tools were simple to implement and at the same time, very effective. I’ve participated in a lot of professional development sessions. The Wally Zastrow Leadership Academy is clearly at the top of my list!”
- Lynn Knight, Business Manager, Current ASBO International Board Member



"The Leadership Academy has made me a better person. It has given me tools to be a better person to work with. Understanding myself and knowing how to understand other people. It impacts more than just work environment. It impacts your whole life."
- Karl E. Volkmann, Business Manager


“The Leadership Academy was hands-down the best professional development I’ve ever done. I learned a lot about myself personally, and I think that learning a lot about yourself personally allows you to grow professionally. It helped me understand how to connect with my own colleagues in a different way, which overall has benefited our district as we move forward trying to create the best possible space for our students and staff.”
- Sarah Viera, Business Manager, Board President-Elect for 2023-24


“The Wally Zastrow program was a great opportunity to dive deep into leadership strategies that go far beyond school operations. From prioritizing people and projects to role playing crucial conversations, this program definitely helped grow me as a leader. I also appreciated growing relationships with people from across the state, that I would not have met otherwise!”
- Jeremiah Johnson, Chief Operations Officer, Current WASBO Board of Directors Member, Midwest Facility Masters Conference Committee Co-Chair


“No matter what position you’re in or what phase of career you’re in, the Leadership Academy is useful. There’s people here within half dozen years before retirement, and there’s new business managers and facilities directors. It’s useful at both work and home!“
- Jason Demerath, Business Manager, 2022 ASBO Pinnacle of Achievement Award recipient in honor of 2021-22 Zastrow Project


“So much of our professional development is focused on the technicalities of our job and things we need to know to do a good job. This is really more focused on leadership and how we can work with people and grow in that capacity.”
- Erica Pickett, Business Manager


“The Wally Zastrow Leadership Academy is one of the best professional development activities I have been involved in as a school business official. The academy will push your limits and make you a stronger leader in your district and better understand who you are as a person. Don’t be afraid of the commitment because it will be well worth your time no matter what stage you are at in your career!”
- Joe Marquardt, Business Manager, Current WASBO Board of Directors Member



WASBO District Professional Member pricing for the Wally Zastrow 2023-24 Leadership Academy is $2,106. Price of these six, two-day academy sessions includes:
  • Coaching/Support from academy faculty
  • Networking through online tools
  • Leadership Assessment
  • Emotional Intelligence Assessment
  • True Colors Communication Style Assessment
  • Noon meal each day

Attendees are responsible for all travel and meals outside of the session days.

Full payment must be received by November 17 and NO REFUNDS will be issued.

Begin Your Journey

The Wally Zastrow Leadership Academy is open to all District Professional members. Registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Only a limited number of registrations are available. Register today to continue your leadership journey. All applicants must meet the following criteria:
  • Minimum of 1 year experience in your current job;
  • Must have input or decision-making authority for strategic decisions involving the school district;
  • Written letter of supervisory support to participate in all academy sessions.
Upon registration, participants will be asked to submit responses to following two essay questions:
  1. Tell us about a real person who influenced your life. What values did this person demonstrate that were important to you?
  2. After reviewing the leadership learning objectives, which topics do you feel most confident about and which ones do you think will be most challenging?

Need or want talking points to describe the Wally Zastrow Leadership Academy? Get them here!

Register for the 2023-24 Wally Zastrow Leadership Academy Today!

Hotel Accommodations are the responsibility of participants. WASBO has secured a block of rooms at a discounted rate.

Due to the nature of the materials and goals of this academy, participation is limited to District Professional members only.

Wallace E. Zastrow

Wallace E. Zastrow was a champion for education. Graduating from Whitewater State Teachers College with a B.A. and an M.A. in business from the University of Iowa. He was a teacher of business education at Fort Atkinson and Whitefish Bay High Schools and School Administrator for the Waukesha School District. Serving at UW-Whitewater, he was the former Director of University Relations.

His passion for the profession was demonstrated in several areas. Wally was a charter member of WASBO and served as the associations' first Executive Director. Through his leadership, WASBO gained recognition and respect as an outstanding educational organization within the State of Wisconsin and ASBO International. His legacy of leadership lives on today for each WASBO member!