Professional Development at RBT

Managing Conflict in the Midst of Change (20-260)


Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020
2nd date TBD


8:03 AM to 12:03 PM


Research for Better Teaching
One Acton Place
Acton, MA 01720

Current Status: 


This two-part presentation will focus on how leaders push past mediocrity to achieve district and school results by improving how they work with the adults they lead to become better at what they do with children. Inherent within the leader's practice is managing conflict while sustaining productive working relationships. Specific strategies in dissecting the underlying reasons for conflict, when and how to decide to take conflict on, and ways to reach resolutions and use repair strategies will be shared and discussed.

Pia Durkin has served as a key urban leader in three states, most recently as the turnaround superintendent of New Bedford Public Schools in Massachusetts. Throughout her career, she has made an impact on the lives of the children and families she served. Yet, Pia is the first to point to and credit the adults she worked with who changed their practice, pushed past mediocrity, and made her a superintendent that learned to lead more effectively toward results.

Pia has now written a book that RBT is excited to publish and offer as part of its Skilled Leader Series. The Superintendents Work with Principals: Improving Instruction and Achieving Results captures her work using key leadership frameworks and strategies backed by real case studies, scenarios, and examples that will resonate with superintendents, central office leaders, and principals. Participants in this course will receive a copy of the book.




Pia Durkin, PhD

For the past 40 years, Pia Durkin has served as an educator in urban school districts in New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts making a significant impact on the lives of children and families, and on those she has coached and supervised toward stronger performance. As the superintendent in New Bedford, Massachusetts, a chronically underperforming school district on the verge of state takeover, she implemented an ambitious reform agenda focused on turning around New Bedford's schools for its 13,000 students.  Linking a strong teaching and learning agenda with intensive support for...Full bio.

Founder and President

Jon Saphier is the Founder and President of Research for Better Teaching, Inc., a professional development organization dedicated since 1979 to improving classroom teaching and school leadership throughout the United States and internationally.  ...Full Bio