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New Webinar Helps Principals Prepare for the Complexity of the Work

Strong leadership is a necessary catalyst for student learning, yet the complexity of the work makes it sometimes hard to focus on the role of instructional leader. AACTE will host a free webinar, Supporting Novice Principals on the Job: Principal Preparation for the Complexity of the Work on Wednesday, December 12, from 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST. Please tune in to attend the webinar, part of a series on principal leadership sponsored by The Wallace Foundation.

Topics will include

  • Building a cohort of leaders to design support systems for future new administrators
  • Devising a structure to support the whole person as a leader
  • Designing research to inform both preparation and mentorship programs
  • Connecting districts and universities for sustainable leadership

We welcome our following presenters who are current fellows and facilitators in the Colorado State University (CSU) School Leadership Institute:

Traci Gile has been a proud public school educator for 20 years. While teaching at Loveland High School, she became an inaugural staff member of the Colorado Online School Consortium. She oversaw and provided training in technology integration and 21st century skills to all instructional staff. Additionally, Gile designed and taught induction courses for new teachers entering the district. An additional part of the position was developing professional development for teachers in standards-based teaching and learning as well as best practices in assessment. This experience led to consulting work in Mapleton School District in Denver and the parochial schools in New Orleans, LA.

In 2004, Gile entered the Principal Licensure program at Colorado State University’s School of Teacher Education and Principal Preparation. She also returned to Colorado State to pursue a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and wrote her dissertation on principal leadership during systemic reform, specifically focusing on response to intervention. After completing her doctoral work in 2011, she was hired as principal at Lopez Elementary in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Travis Hargreaves started his educational career as a coach in Southern California. He later attended the University of Wyoming where he earned his a master’s degree in elementary education, and began teaching 4th grade. While teaching and continuing to coach, Hargreaves entered the Colorado School Leadership Institute. Upon completing the program, he became the elementary school assistant principal at his current school, Cherry Creek Academy. Now in his second year as assistant principal, his role includes overseeing the PLI/Induction program, instructional coaching, multi-tier system of supports team leader, and more.

Hargreaves’ experience is in the charter school sector, where he has developed a unique perspective into educational topics, policy and curriculum. He presents each year at the League of Charter Schools on a variety of topics, ranging from teacher evaluations to strategic planning with boards. In the near future, Travis has aspirations to begin his Ph.D. in educational leadership at Colorado State University.

Donald Kotnik is currently an assistant principal at Mountain View High School in Loveland, Colorado. This is his third year as an administrator and tenth in the field of education. He has had the unique experience of working at each level of public education: high school, middle school, and elementary. He and his wife moved to Colorado six years ago from Ohio, and are proud Buckeye alumni.

In the previous webinar of the series, held November 19, 2018 (archived in the AACTE Resource Library), “Supporting Novice Principals on the Job: Mentoring Support in Difficult Situations,” co-hosts Donna Cooner and Wendy Fothergill talked with Cory Erlandson, a principal at Wilson Junior High School in Manitowoc, Wisconsin and a CSU School Leadership Institute Fellow. The institute supports a recent report by the Wallace Foundation, Improving University Principal Preparation Programs: Five Themes from the Field, indicating there is concern the course of study at preparation programs does not always reflect principals’ real jobs.

Presenters discussed how mentorship is critical for new administrators and how needs change over time. During the first year on the job, principals often seek validation and emotional support, while second and third year principals need more guidance on how to make substantive changes in their building. Mentors outside a school system can provide a non-judgmental perspective that allows new leaders to question decisions and seek advice without connection to job evaluation. Presenters also talked about maintaining the passion and mission for their job in the face of the everyday reality of difficult challenges.

Webinars will be recorded and archived for future use in principal preparation classrooms or for professional development of practicing professionals.

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Donna Cooner

Colorado State University

Wendy Fothergill

Colorado State University

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Join Donna and Wendy for the final installment of "Supporting Novice Principals on the Job" TODAY at 3:00 PM EST:… https://t.co/fAie5drGJF

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