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By Erin Axelsen, Lorie Cristofaro and Jill Geocaris
October 2019
Vol. 40, No. 5
Do you ever laugh as you look at your schedules and wonder how you will fit this next vital meeting in an already time-challenged week? As educational leaders, we have schedules full of responsibilities, meetings, and events. With all of those urgent demands, it can be a challenge to find the time to fuel one’s passions and grow professionally. It also becomes increasingly difficult as we move up the administrative hierarchy to find role-alike colleagues to connect with and learn from. Unlike teachers who have other teachers to network with throughout their school day, administrators do not always have direct colleagues in the building and may not have others to connect with in their district or region. As a result, educational leaders are often left

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Erin Axelsen, Lorie Cristofaro, and Jill Geocaris

Erin Axelsen ( is an instructional coordinator at Wheaton Warrenville South High School, Lorie Cristofaro ( is assistant superintendent for Lockport School District, and Jill Geocaris ( is innovative adult learning coordinator in Maine Township District 207, all in Illinois.


Couros, G. (2015). The innovator’s mindset: Empower learning, unleash talent, and lead a culture of creativity. San Diego, CA: Dave Burgess Consulting.

Heifetz, R.A. & Linsky, M. (2002). Leadership on the line: Staying alive through the dangers of leading. Brighton, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Knowles, M. (1977). Adult learning processes: Pedagogy and andragogy. Religious Education, 72(2), 202-211.

Merriam, S.B. (2001). Andragogy and self-directed learning: Pillars of adult learning theory. New Directions for Adult & Continuing Education, 2001(89), 3.

Orey, M. (2012). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching and pedagogy. Create Space Independent Publishing Platform. Available at

Schon, D.A. (1987). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Basic Books.

Jill Geocaris is currently the director of adult learning coordinator at Maine Township High School District 207 in Park Ridge, IL. In that role, she also serves as the director of the Chicago Coaching Center and sits on the board of directors for the Illinois Council of Instructional Coaches.

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