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What Supports Are Needed for New School Leaders? Discuss in Dec. 14 Webinar

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On Thursday, December 14, AACTE will host a free webinar, supported by The Wallace Foundation, on principal leadership. Please join us from 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST for “Principals as Transformation Leaders: Support for New Leaders.”

Although university support for new school leaders often ends with graduation, novice principals need ongoing professional development and can benefit from continued connections with their preservice preparation programs. The new leaders serving as panelists on this webinar will offer perspectives on their preservice principal preparation and ideas for creating ongoing systems of support. Each panelist is a recent participant in a new leadership institute at Colorado State University, developed in partnership with AACTE and the Wallace Foundation, that convened early-career principals to identify practices and support structures needed for graduates beyond university-based preparation programs. Outcomes from these institute discussions will help guide curriculum reform to better prepare school principals and will also inform universities on how to keep the connection with alumni vibrant and relevant.

For this month’s webinar, we are excited to welcome the following presenters:

image of lindsey matkin Lindsey Matkin is in her second year as an assistant principal in Fort Collins, Colorado. She earned her B.A. in Spanish and M.A. in education and human resource studies at Colorado State University. Her 17 years in the Poudre School District began with teaching Spanish at Lincoln Junior High School. Several years later, Matkin had the opportunity to be part of the staff who opened Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School, a National Blue Ribbon school. After 10 years of teaching Spanish and serving as department leader at Kinard, she stepped out of the classroom to serve as academic dean. In fall 2016, Matkin joined the administrative team at Preston Middle (STEM) School as assistant principal.


image of cory erlandson Cory Erlandson is a second-year principal at Wilson Junior High School in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin (UW), he began his career teaching history, economics, and government at Wilson and Lincoln High School in 2003. Over time, he added a master’s degree from UW-La Crosse, earned National Board certification, and served as social studies department chair. He recently spent 2 years teaching middle school geography in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he was also able to instruct future teachers at Colorado State University and work toward his principal licensure.


image of kevin denton Kevin Denton is a first-year principal in Buena Vista, Colorado. He previously taught math and science at the middle and high school levels in both traditional and Expeditionary Learning schools. In addition to his work in the classroom, he has served on the National Geographic Education steering committee, participated in think tanks with Expeditionary Learning and Fund for Teachers, and presented at national conferences and in MOOCs around developing student growth mindsets. Denton also serves on the board of directors for Arise Rwanda Ministries as the education chair and has been integral in the research, design, and development of an innovative, financially self-sustainable, technical secondary school in western Rwanda.


image of ann renee bentley Ann Reneé Bentley is a first-year assistant principal in Loveland, Colorado. A native of Pearl, Mississippi, Bentley earned her B.A. in secondary education from Delta State University (MS) and M.A. in secondary education from Troy University (AL). She taught high/middle school science for 7 years in Alabama and Mississippi before moving to Colorado, where she taught for 3 years at Poudre Community Academy (PCA) in Fort Collins and completed her principal preparation at Colorado State University. During her 10 years in the classroom, she was honored as District Teacher of the Year in 2010 and served as a professional development coordinator/service learning coordinator during her work at PCA.


To register for the December 14 webinar, click here.

Did you miss our last webinar in this series? Don’t worry – it was recorded and is now available in the AACTE Resource Library. Held November 30, “Principals as Transformation Leaders: High-Quality Preparation Programs” shared how principal preparation programs can partner with local districts to address the ever-changing needs of new administrators entering the field:

  • Tena Versland, assistant professor at Montana State University, described a unique partnership between Montana State and Indian reservations across the state to prepare cohorts of new leaders in high-need areas.
  • Rebecca Nelson, dean of education at North Park University in Chicago, stressed the importance of the principal’s role in student achievement in relation to evaluation and how preparation programs have to continually communicate with school districts to reflect current practices.
  • Michelle Young, executive director of the University Council for Educational Administration, identified three potential levels of partnership between universities and school districts to move preparation programs beyond coordination to fully invested partnerships. She also emphasized the importance of developing memorandums of understanding to formalize partnership agreements.

To view other archived webinars in this series and on a variety of topics, visit the AACTE Resource Library.


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Donna Cooner

Colorado State University

Wendy Fothergill

Colorado State University

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