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Webinar Series on Principal Preparation Wrap Up

AACTE hosted its final webinar of this year’s series on principal preparation sponsored by The Wallace Foundation on Wednesday, December 12. As co-hosts, we discussed “Principal Preparation for the Complexity of the Work” with invited guests: Dr. Traci Gile, a principal at Lopez Elementary in Fort Collins, Colorado, Travis Hargreaves, an assistant principal at Cherry Creek Academy in Denver, Colorado, and Donald Kotnik, an assistant principal at Mountain View High School in Loveland, Colorado. Presenters discussed how Colorado State University’s (CSU) School Leadership Institute helped bridge their preparation program to practice for participants.

The Institute consists of two retreats for CSU graduates who are currently in their first few years of school leadership. Institute fellows on the panel shared how their involvement not only improved their practice as leaders, but offered a desperately needed support network for a job that is often isolating. Presenters also shared the importance of contributing to the ongoing research project associated with the Institute and communicating the challenges of the profession through focus groups. This research, and their voices in the focus groups, will not only impact current preparation programs, but also the larger professional community.

The 2018 webinar series on principal preparation support a recent report by The Wallace Foundation, Improving University Principal Preparation Programs: Five Themes from the Field, which indicates the course of study at preparation programs does not always reflect principals’ real jobs. The webinars highlight efforts underway to address these challenges. All of the webinars were recorded and archived for future use in principal preparation classrooms or for the professional development of practicing professionals, and are accessible in the AACTE Resource Library.

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Donna Cooner

Colorado State University

Wendy Fothergill

Colorado State University

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