School Leadership Program

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2002 Awards

Project Name:School Leadership Program
Project Type:Urban
Project Contact:Tuscaloosa City Board of Education
Tuscaloosa, AL
Daphne Ferguson
(205) 759-3505

The Tuscaloosa School Board and the University of Alabama have partnered to implement a leadership program for aspiring principals. Participants, who are teachers in Tuscaloosa city schools, enroll in University-based courses that are delivered at district schools and at the University of Alabama and taught by teams of University faculty and district administrators. The program includes projects that deal with instruction, facilities, curriculum, legal issues, and community relations. Candidates are supported by weekly seminars and workshops focused on school-based issues, and by mentor coaches who work with them throughout the year as well as during an internship in which the aspiring principals assume the role of program leader for summer and night school programs.

Project Name:Rural Alaska Leadership Coalition
Project Type:Rural
Project Contact:University of Alaska
Fairbanks, AK
Melissa Hill
(907) 474-7308

The Rural Alaska Leadership Coalition is recruiting and training candidates including Native Alaskans to become school leaders who will serve in Alaska's rural villages. The program is closely aligned with the Alaska Quality School Initiative. Program participants include aspiring and practicing principals who come together in cohorts or study groups, enroll in university courses, attend seminars, and receive support from trained mentor coaches. To address the challenge of distance and isolation, web-based courses, professional development support, and other resources are used to deliver and enhance these activities. The Coalition is a partnership of ten school districts, the Alaska Center for Excellence in Schools, University of Alaska Educational Leadership Program, University of Oregon, Alaska Staff Development Network and the New Teacher Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Project Name:Arizona State University Learner Centered Leadership Program
Project Type:Urban
Project Contact:Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ
Arnold Danzig
(480) 727-7726
Project Website:

Arizona State University partnered with the Southwest Center for Education and Language Diversity and four high-need metropolitan Phoenix school districts to develop a program that prepares leaders for language and culturally diverse schools in urban settings. The project model encourages and supports collaborative and supportive interaction among the three groups as well as among the participating school districts. Training and support are individualized to meet the needs of participants who include aspiring, new and practicing, experienced assistant principals and principals. Aspiring assistant principals and principals enroll as cohorts in university-and web-based courses, participate in seminars and workshops and serve an internship. Participating new principals develop individualized professional development plans that include how to connect personal knowledge to professional practice, develop new programs or systems, and lead, monitor and assess school-based reforms. Support for the implementation of the plans is provided through a wide-range of district resources as well as mentor coaches. Experienced practicing principals engage in professional learning communities, are trained to serve as mentors to the aspiring and new principals, assist in the planning of seminars and workshops, and co-teach with University faculty in the university school leadership certification program.

Project Name:No Leader Left Behind
Project Type:Urban
Project Contact:Sunnyside Unified School District
Tucson, AZ
George Babich
(520) 545-2151
Project Website:

The Sunnyside "No Leader Left Behind" project involves a consortium of five Arizona local Educational Agencies including the Sunnyside, Nogales, Santa Cruz, Douglas and Patagonia school districts. The Consortium members collectively serve more than 30,300 students. The project targets, as its primary goal, improved academic achievement. Training and support include leadership "intensive" trainings, the Bill and Melinda Gates Northern Arizona University K-12 Center "Leadership in Technology" institutes, on-site and technology supported coaching and mentoring, individualized leadership libraries, school leadership periodical subscriptions, professional leadership organization memberships, and part- and full-time administrative internships.

Project Name:School Leadership Project
Project Type:Urban
Project Contact:California State University-Dominguez Hills
Dominguez Hills, CA
David L. Andrews
(310) 243-2716

Through a partnership between California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) and the Los Angeles County Unified School District teachers are recruited, prepared and supported to become public school administrators. These principal candidates participate in an intensive, fast-track, 11-month academic course and fieldwork (internship) program under the supervision and guidance of CSUDH faculty and Los Angeles County School District employees all of whom have experience as school level administrators. In addition to the academic course and field work, candidates "shadow" practicing school administrators, hear from and meet with state and national experts on school leadership, and are supported by trained mentors. The mentors will continue to support the principal candidates for two years following program completion to provide on-going professional development support as well as to collect data related to the evaluation of the preparation program.

Project Name:New School Leadership Project
Project Type:Urban and Rural
Project Contact:University of Colorado
Colorado Springs, CO
Tom Bellamy
(719) 262-3199
Project Website:

The new School Leadership Project is comprised of three metropolitan and eight rural school districts located in southern Colorado with support from two university partners, the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and Colorado State University. The approach is based on three design principles: 1) concentrate on school districts taking the initiative in leadership development to supplement what prospective participants learn in formal preparation programs; 2) utilize the Framework for School Leadership Accomplishments-a template that lists the accomplishments or intermediate results that contribute to organizational outcomes-to design and develop training and support activities; and 3) focus on career-long support for leadership development. Training and support are provided for aspiring principals who engage in expanded leadership opportunities in their schools and are mentored by their respective principals. New principals receive training as well as well as mentoring from expert guides. Experienced principals develop case studies, which serve to structure individual reflection and enhance leadership focus and problem-solving skills.

Project Name:Pathways to Leadership
Project Type:Urban
Project Contact:The School Board of Broward County
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Susan Colten
(954) 382-6275

The Pathways to Administrative Leadership (PAL) Academy builds on Broward County's Leadership Experiences in Administrative Development project, a project that identifies and encourages teachers to take school leadership positions. All new assistant principals and principals are served by the PAL Academy which includes a diagnostic assessment center, support for developing individualized professional development plans, access to seminars and learning communities, support for preparing a professional development leadership portfolio, and trained mentors. Partners include the Broward County School District Department of Leadership, Training and Leadership Center at Florida Atlantic University, Nova Southeastern University and Barry University.

Project Name:Principals Excellence Program
Project Type:Rural
Project Contact:University of Kentucky Research Foundation
Lexington, KY
Tricia Browne-Ferrigno
(859) 257-5504

The Principals Excellence Program (PEP) is a partnership between the University of Kentucky and the Pike County School District. Its primary goal is advanced leadership development of practicing principals and assistant principals, and aspiring principals currently working in high-need school in Appalachia who have completed their initial state certification requirements. PEP is an interconnected series of seminars/workshops, field-based experiences, and structured reflections intended to develop a professional community of learners among participants. A concurrent clinical practice each semester provides participants with a field-based practicum under the supervision of selected mentor principals.

Project Name:Southwest Michigan Educational Leadership Consortium
Project Type:Urban
Project Contact:Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency
Kalamazoo, MI
Mark Rainey
(616) 385-1580

The Southwest Michigan Educational Leadership Consortium (SMELC) is a partnership of the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency and Western Michigan University. The SMELC program is framed around the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium standards and consists of two 15-month long Leadership Academies, one for aspiring principals and one for practicing principals. The Aspiring Principals Academy includes seminars/workshops, simulation activities, two internships (one in the candidate's home school district and one in another high-need school district), the development of a leadership portfolio demonstrating attainment of the Leadership Academy goals and objectives, work with a mentor coach, and presentation of the completed portfolio to district and university staff. The 15-month Leadership Academy for practicing principals includes a leadership assessment and needs/gap analysis using data from their individual schools, seminars and workshops related to effective practices, reflective activities through learning communities, work with a personal coach, and the development of an Individual Professional Development Plan and a School Improvement Plan.

Project Name:Urban Leadership Development Program
Project Type:Urban
Project Contact:National Center for Community Education
Flint, MI
Michael Kiefer
(810) 424-5221

The National Center for Community Education (NCCE) is recruiting and preparing aspiring principals and providing professional development support to practicing principals in seven urban school districts. Aspiring principals complete an Education Leadership Masters Program through the University of Michigan-Flint committing to serve for a minimum of four years in one of the participating high-need school districts. Practicing principals participate in an integrated series of professional development workshops and seminars designed by participants with input from UM-Flint faculty and NCCE staff. The practicing principals are trained to serve as coaches and mentors for new principals within their respective districts. The core curriculum is based on the Michigan, Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, and participant-identified leadership standards as well as real work job-embedded requirements. Various state and local agencies serving urban students and families also contribute to curriculum development and program design.

Project Name:Principal Leadership Program
Project Type:Urban
Project Contact:University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA
Jeffrey Eiseman
(413) 545-1536

The University of Massachusetts is partnering with the Holyoke Public Schools (HPS) to develop a principal leadership program. The program goals are to improve the system's leadership capacity and functioning through: 1) a 29-month, on-site, problem-based licensure program for aspiring principals; 2) an ongoing monthly professional development program for all HPS principals, 3) HPS principals serving as mentor coaches for licensure candidates, 4) project staff serving as mentor coaches for HPS principals, and 5) a formative and summative evaluation that will assess the extent to which the program's process and outcome goals are achieved. Features of the program include a rigorous selection system involving written and oral tasks judged by a five-member screening team (three members from HPS and two from UMass), and the active involvement of UMass staff in HPS activities with the goal of maximizing the proportion of time focused on supporting, implementing and refining HPS's reform initiatives.

Project Name:The Boston Public School Leadership Institute
Project Type:Urban
Project Contact:Boston Public Schools
Boston, MA
Rachel Curtis
(617) 635-6772
Project Website:

The Boston Public School Leadership Institute is a district-lead initiative based on Boston's Whole School Improvement Plan and consists of three programs: Exploring the Principalship, the new Principal Support System, and the Boston Principal Fellows. Exploring the Principalship focuses on those who have leadership potential but have not considered becoming a principal. This program includes learning about the work of the principal from successful principals and examining case studies of Boston schools and their leaders. The new principal Support System is for new principals with less than two years of experience on the job and includes mentoring by exemplary principals, monthly seminars, and school-based consultations. The Boston Principal Fellows is a one-year urban principal preparation program that offers intensive training through hands-on experience and case-based course work. Fellows are placed in full-year residencies in Boston schools and are supported in weekly seminars and by trained mentors. Program partners include the University of Massachusetts-Boston and Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Project Name:Leadership in Border Areas
Project Type:Rural
Project Contact:New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM
Elsy Suttmiller
(506) 646-4128

Project LIBRA (Leadership in Border Region Areas) is a new model for preparing educational leaders to address the needs of students along the Mexico and U.S. Border by focusing on issues of poverty, culture, and linguistic diversity. The goal is to provide a collaborative, comprehensive, and sustained leadership program for the preparation/training of principal candidates to become school leaders who promote long-term gains in the academic achievement of all students with a focus on English Language learners. LIBRA is a collaborative project between Las Cruces Public Schools and New Mexico State University. The program includes the preparation of aspiring principals through rigorous coursework at New Mexico State University and professional development support for the current practicing principals in Las Cruces Public Schools. Professional development activities include a speaker's series, site visits to successful schools along the border, and mentoring support from the principals of these successful schools. Participants engage in problem-based learning that includes simulation activities and weekly seminars to address issues of practice, maintain reflective journals about their school experiences and readings on research literature, as well as participate in field experiences in the schools and the community.

Project Name:Lead New Mexico
Project Type:Rural
Project Contact:The University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM
Richard D. Howell
(503) 277-6006
Project Website:

The Lead New Mexico initiative is a principal leadership program for rural and multicultural schools across northern New Mexico. The initiative is a partnership of 27 northern New Mexico school districts represented by the Northern New Mexico Network and the University of New Mexico. The program provides a curriculum jointly developed by the participating school districts and the University designed to meet the needs of principals and superintendents of the northern rural school districts. Participants engage in seminars, a summer institute, and as a learning community in which they learn from as well as encourage and support each other. Resources include on-line courses and mentor coaches. Principals apply their learning experiences in their schools and engage in objective, on-site evaluations of the impact and effects of these applications. A unique concept pioneered in northern New Mexico uses local veteran principals called "circuit riders," who are located within three regionally defined areas. The circuit riders provide direct support to the principals, acting as on-site mentors. An evaluation and research protocol will be used to gather, analyze, and report the impact and outcomes of the project activities.

Project Name:School Leadership Program
Project Type:Urban
Project Contact:Community School District 10, Region 1
New York (Bronx), NY
Ray Rosemberg
(718) 741-7030

Through the School Leadership Program, Region 1 is creating a continuum of professional development activities to recruit and nurture the talents of teachers and supervisors as instructional leaders and provide for increasing levels of responsibility for accountability for student outcomes. The program will expand the Principals' Institute, a long-standing collaboration with Bank Street College of Education. Principal Coach and Assistant Principal Coach models were created using exemplary leaders-both principals and assistant principals--to serve as coaches for their colleagues, providing both individual and group support for all of the practicing principals and new assistant principals in the region. As a result of the reorganization of the New York City Department of Education, this initiative will restructure and expand both coach models as well as efforts to facilitate study groups for leaders of the Region's 115 schools. A comprehensive program of training and support for prospective and current principals and assistant principals will be offered through principal and assistant principal conferences, workshops and technical assistant provided by national experts in leadership development, and year-long institutes and workshops at the Region's Professional Development Leadership Center.

Project Name:Leadership Development Initiative
Project Type:Urban
Project Contact:New York City Department of Education
New York, NY
Migdalia Maldonado
(718) 935-4751

The New York City Leadership Development program is a partnership between the New York City (NYC) Department of Education and the New York City Leadership Academy, New Visions for Public Schools, Hunter College School Leadership Center for Change and Renewal, and New Leaders for New Schools. The initiative includes pre-service training for assistant principal and principal candidates, in-service training for new principals, and professional development for incumbent or practicing principals. Hunter College and New Leaders for New Schools are recruiting, training, and mentoring individuals to become effective assistant principals and principals in high-need schools through coursework in instructional leadership, community leadership and management, and in the case of New Leaders for New Schools, one-year, full-time residencies in NYC schools. The New York City Leadership Academy (Academy) will support and prepare new principals to become highly-qualified leaders using sustained, job-embedded, standards-based professional development and mentoring. The Academy will also provide professional development and other support to incumbent principals who will then mentor and provide professional development to new and aspiring administrators. New Visions for Public Schools will assist in the mentoring of new principals through a model using retired principals as mentors. The Center for Advanced Study in Education will conduct the program evaluation.

Project Name:Leadership for Learning
Project Type:Urban
Project Contact:Trenton Public Schools
Trenton, NJ
Deidre R. Farmbry
(215) 842-1412

The Leadership for Learning project is a partnership between Newark, Patterson, and Trenton Public Schools and the Center for Evidence-Based Education. The one-year program uses a combination of residential leadership retreats, on-site leadership reviews, job-embedded practice, assignments, and mentoring to address the needs of participants who enroll as teams from the three districts. Program features include representation from three high-need school districts in each cohort, providing an opportunity for the participants to strengthen both their intra- and inter-district web of support as they grapple with issues unique to their own settings and common across New Jersey, and the participation of practitioners and professors from Cambridge University and the National College of School Leadership in Nottingham, UK who bring an international and global perspective to the discussion of urban school leadership.

Project Name:Rural Education in Administrative Leadership (REAL)
Project Type:Rural
Project Contact:Umatilla Morrow Educational Service Center
Pendleton, OR
Al Meunier
(541) 966-3209

The Umatilla Morrow Educational Service Center is partnering with other regional service providers in Eastern Oregon, 18 high-need school districts, and the Lewis and Clark College Graduate School of Education to tailor and implement a program model that addresses the unique issues faced by rural school leaders. The program serves aspiring and practicing principals who engage in seminars, courses, summer institutes, internships, and who are supported by mentor coaches. Technology is used to facilitate communication across long distances. The expectations for this project are to increase the retention rate and number and quality of principal candidates and practicing principals in Eastern Oregon. Unique features of Project REAL are its recruitment of candidates from both the private and public sectors, and its partnership with rural schools, the Educational Service Centers, and an urban college all working together to recruit, train, mentor and provide professional development for school administrators in isolated, rural areas.

Project Name:Leadership Development Project
Project Type:Urban
Project Contact:Austin Independent School District
Austin, TX
Glenn Nolly
(512) 414-3845
Project Website:

The Austin Independent School District in collaboration with the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Education Agency's Region XIII Service Center developed a school leadership program based on the Interstate Leaders Licensure Consortium standards. This initiative is district-based with five components: 1) each district associate superintendent (one each from elementary, middle and high school levels) has developed with the project staff a range of leadership capacity building activities designed specifically for program participants; 2) semester-long modules (each worth three university credits) for all interested district assistant principals and principals; 3) three Spanish language and Hispanic culture classes (two introductory and one advanced) for all interested district assistant principals and principals; 4) an intensive immersion in the Spanish language and the Mexican culture provided each summer for program participants attending the language and culture classes; and 5) intensive advanced leadership institutes, one for assistant principals and one for principals conducted each summer.

Project Name:Partnership for School Leadership
Project Type:Rural
Project Contact:Washington School Principals Education Foundation
Olympia, WA
Michele Hendrickson
(360) 357-7951
Project Website: (School Leadership Grant Link)

The Washington School Principals Education Association, 52 high-need school districts, three universities, The Washington State Education Agency and four educational service districts form the Partnership for School Leadership. The goals of the program are to: 1) recruit, train, and mentor highly qualified teacher leaders to become principals and assistant principals in high-need school districts, and 2) provide current principals and assistant principals in these school districts with leadership development support that results in increased student achievement and a continuing commitment to serve in high-need schools. Supports provided include an orientation workshop on the steps to becoming a principal, partial scholarships to defray university tuition costs, release days to participate in an internship, and workshops and seminars. Practicing assistant principals and principals engage in cohort-based training activities, performance-based individual assessments, are mentored, and have access to scholarships to attend related workshops.


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Last Modified: 08/24/2005