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Watch Livestream Recording: Improving Principal Preparation Programs Panel Discussion

In December, the Wallace Foundation hosted a livestreamed discussion on Improving Principal Preparation Programs as the culmination of a two-day event for members of its University Principal Preparation Initiative Professional Learning Community (UPPI PLC). This initiative focuses on redesigning university principal preparation programs at seven universities in an effort to resolve the disconnect between what was happening in the universities to prepare educational leaders and the real-world demands of the job. The panel discussion highlighted the experiences of one UPPI university, Florida Atlantic University, and their district partners.

During this engaging discussion, panelists highlighted the importance of maintaining routines of collaboration so partnerships can advance and how those partnerships played a key role in the success of realigning the experience for educational leaders moving from preparation to school leadership roles. “Relationships and having the right people on the bus makes the difference,” said Ted Toomer of Broward County Schools. Panelists also spoke about the importance of tracking systems to better learn from the data to improve programs and cited that superintendent support for the work is critical.

Ann Marie Dilbert, a principal from Palm Beach County, spoke about her experiences mentoring a principal and indicated that she is seeing results and improvement in her mentee after only one semester. She also described her own professional growth experiences not only from working with her mentee but through the opportunity to meet with her peers—other principals mentoring candidates in the program— and learn from them.

Panelists included Paul Burns, deputy chancellor, Florida Department of Education; Ann Marie Dilbert, principal, School District of Palm Beach County; Daniel Reyes-Guerra, UPPI director, Florida Atlantic University; and Ted Toomer, director of leadership development, Broward County Public Schools. Steve Tozer, professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, moderated the panel.

To learn more, access the livestream recording.

AACTE will continue to engage in dialogue around the Wallace Foundation’s educational leadership work at its upcoming 2019 Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY. There will be a day-long preconference session on educational leadership, highlighting how preparation programs are collaborating with K-12 partners to overcome important challenges that school leaders are currently facing in their role today. Additionally, there will be a Lunch and Learn sponsored by the Wallace Foundation, which is open to all registered preconference attendees to network and share their expertise. The preconference session and the Lunch and Learn will take place on Thursday, February 21.

There will be two concurrent sessions on Friday, February 22 focused on the new Professional and Preparation standards for educational leadership and the transition from a principal preparation to practitioner. For more about these sessions and others at the 2019 Annual Meeting, visit the AACTE Event Planner. If you still haven’t registered for the conference, register by January 28 to take advantage of discounted rates.

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Caitlin Wilson

Director, Program Improvement and Practice, AACTE