The Aspiring Principals Academy: a Grow Your Own Approach to Principal Preparation in the Clark County School District
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Mercer, Jr., James Allen
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CitationMercer, Jr., James Allen. 2020. The Aspiring Principals Academy: a Grow Your Own Approach to Principal Preparation in the Clark County School District. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
AbstractThe Clark County School District (CCSD) is one of the fastest-growing school districts in the country. This rapid growth has increased the demand for effective school leaders. CCSD filled 42 principal vacancies during the 2019-2020 school year. The district projects multiple principal vacancies for the 2020-2021 school year. As the doctoral resident in CCSD, I was charged with creating a professional development experience that would serve as the foundation of the principal pipeline. This experience was designed to produce a highly qualified pool of leaders that are equipped with a deep understanding of the competencies needed to serve as principals in CCSD.
This capstone chronicles the development of the Aspiring Principals Academy in CCSD from ideation to execution. Based on research and recommendations from The Wallace Foundation and The New York City Leadership Academy, the Aspiring Principals Academy was created to equip current assistant principals with the technical and adaptive leadership skills needed to become highly effective principals. Originally designed as a twelve-week intensive professional development experience, the Aspiring Principals Academy consisted of sessions that were developed and facilitated by the best and brightest principals in CCSD. These weekly sessions focused on strengthening participants’ skills in strategic thinking, instructional leadership, community engagement, and cultural competence.
After weekly engagements with a cohort of 100 aspiring principals, I offer my analysis of the successes, failures, and opportunities for further exploration in the development of the Aspiring Principals Academy. Through reflection, I detail implications for my own leadership, CCSD, and the PK-12 education sector. I conclude by providing recommendations to leaders and organizations that are considering developing their own principal preparation programs.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37364863