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New AACTE Podcast Episode Provides Insights into Education Leadership Program Redesign

The third episode of AACTE’s new University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI) Podcast series chronicling this Wallace Foundation multi-year principal program redesign initiative is now available. In the last episode, AACTE identified the gaps between “learning” and “doing.” In this episode, guests dive into a case study of the UPPI program at University of Connecticut (UConn ) and what they have learned from their program redesign. Episode 3 features Richard Gonzalez, who oversees the principalship and superintendency program at UConn and serves as the director of UConn’s UPPI initiative project. Gonzalez and current program candidate Symone James, explain the core assessments, how they were tied to clinical practice and what that structure accomplished in closing the “learning” and “doing” gap of principal preparation.

Listen now to Episode 3 Competencies Close Gaps in Leadership Prep



Richard GonzalesRichard Gonzales: Richard Gonzales is an associate professor in residence and director of educational leadership preparation programs at the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education. He served as project director for UConn’s University Principal Preparation Initiative project and currently serves as a strategic planning consultant to large urban districts on various Wallace Foundation initiatives. Gonzales received a B.S. in applied learning and development and a M.Ed. and Ph.D. in educational administration from The University of Texas at Austin.  Before entering higher education, he worked for 16 years as an elementary bilingual teacher, an elementary principal, and a district-level administrator.  He has collaborated on scholarship that has been published in Educational Administration Quarterly, the Journal of School Leadership, Educational Planning, NASSP Principal Leadership, and the UCEA Handbook on the Education of School Leaders.

Symone JamesSymone James: Symone James is an elementary teacher in her 5th year. In the classroom, Symone enjoys encouraging her students to think critically about the world around them and watching them grow through self-discovery and being directors of their own learning. In her district, she serves on the district leadership team for equity. Symone holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a minor in diversity studies, a master’s in curriculum and instruction, and is currently completing the UConn Administrator Preparation Program to obtain her Sixth-Year Diploma. She looks forward to eventually pursuing a role in education leadership.


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