EP 19 | Leading Intentionally Through Change with Joanne Culverhouse

Written by on December 20, 2022

When you’re leading through a time of change, it isn’t enough for your team to believe in your plan. They need to believe in you.

Dr. Joanne Culverhouse has enjoyed an award-winning, 41-year career in education, taking on the roles of teacher, coach, principal, and assistant superintendent, and said farewell to full-time employment in 2022 as the superintendent of the La Habra City School District — but not before fully reconfiguring the district’s nine schools and modernizing its format. 

Joanne has a rare and valuable talent for creating strong and authentic connections with and between people in her community. In this conversation, we dive into the power of telling people who you are, the process of developing a personal leadership style, and the art of leading people through change with intention.


Ready to play bigger? Listen now to discover: 

  • Joanne’s inspiring shifts along the path from elementary teacher to district superintendent
  • The brilliant system that she used to form incredible connections within her school community  
  • How she restructured a 45-year-old school system to make it better for its students


Guest bio: Dr. Joanne Culverhouse’s distinguished career in education spans 41 years in various capacities, including as a teacher, coach, and principal, and retired as the proud superintendent of the La Habra City School District in 2022. In 2018, she was recognized as one of the 100 top influencers of Orange County by the OC Register for her overhaul of the La Habra schools. In 2019, she received the Superintendent of the Year Award from the ACSA Region 17. In 2022, she was selected as the California 29th Senate District’s Woman of the Year by Senator Josh Newman. 



01:56  Intro

03:44  Meet Joanne Culverhouse

06:38  From teacher to principal

14:25  Choosing her leadership style

18:01  Connecting with the community  

20:55  Reconfiguring the school district

26:39  Leading & uniting people through change

33:37  Sharing who you are

46:19  Retiring & coaching

53:14  What’s next