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Leading Edge Blog

Welcome to the Team, Mike!

In August, Mike Trego joined the Ohio Leadership Advisory Council team as its new project director. Long-time co-directors, Jim Gay and Karel Oxley, will continue to support the OLAC team during the transition. Get to know more about Mike in this recent Q&A.

Question: Tell us about your background before coming to OLAC.

Answer: Prior to coming to OLAC, I spent the 33 years in leadership positions, with the last 16 years at the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio (ESCCO) and Dublin City Schools. I had the chance to interact with many different people and organizations and it gave me perspective. Transitioning to the OLAC team was an outgrowth of my role at the ESC as an OLAC executive core and advisory team member. I am looking forward to being part of the OLAC team because it will give me the chance to keep learning. OLAC is a proven organization that supports educators and that’s valuable to me.

Question: As a leader, how have you used OLAC resources?

Answer: I was introduced to OLAC resources in 2014 when I worked at the ESCCO. We hosted a district leadership institute and had to train superintendents, central office staff, and those who were aspiring to be in those roles to ensure they had the tools they needed to be successful. It was great to expose educational leaders to resources that were created by educators.

Question: What’s your favorite OLAC tool?

Answer: I really like our professional learning series. It’s hard for staff to get out and do professional development. The virtual format allows us to bring experts and practitioners from around the country to Ohio educators. Whether someone wants to attend in real time or watch on-demand, the learning is flexible, and all sessions are free. I also think the Systemic Improvement Practices Review (SIPR) is a great resource. It’s a great tool that allows districts to get perspective on where they’re at and they can monitor progress along the way.

Question: Describe the valuable connection between OLAC and the Ohio Improvement Process (OIP).

Answer: The 5-step OIP process requires considerable time and attention by leadership teams to closely identify the critical needs, match strategies, create implementation plans, and then implement, monitor/evaluate, reflect, and adjust. OLAC offers resources that allow staff to maximize their time and effort in order to get to the work. Our hope is that by utilizing our resources and professional learning opportunities, staff can work smarter not harder. By implementing a distributed leadership model, more staff will be aware of the work and will become active partners. The combination of OLAC's work in delineating essential practices ("the what") and the use of the OIP ("the how") to put them into practice has given many Ohio districts increased capacity to lay a strong foundation for continued and sustainable improvement.

Question: If someone knew nothing about OLAC and the resources, what would you want them to know?

Answer: I would want people to know that OLAC has free resources that are proven and evidence-based and that the resources are designed to make their jobs easier. There is also a wide variety of resources, literally something for anyone no matter where they are in their professional journey.

Question: What do you want the OLAC audience to know about you?

Answer: My friends have given me the nickname Sand Trego. I like to travel and mostly to the beach and golf resorts. My newest priority and where I spend a lot of time these days is with my grandchildren. I have one and one on the way.