Training with education leaders | UDaily

Twelve graduates of the Governor’s School of School Management are photographed with Tracy Hudson, a Delaware School Leadership Academy (DASL) specialist, Jacqueline Wilson, DASL Director, Mark Holodick, now Delaware Education Secretary, and Michael Sailor.  education partner on school leadership at the Delaware Department of Education.

Twelve graduates of the Governor’s School of School Management are photographed with Tracy Hudson, a Delaware School Leadership Academy (DASL) specialist, Jacqueline Wilson, DASL Director, Mark Holodick, now Delaware Education Secretary, and Michael Sailor. education partner on school leadership at the Delaware Department of Education.

Photo by Katie F. Atkinson

UD supports Assistant Principals of Delaware through the Governor’s Institute for School Leadership

Effective school principals not only create a positive learning environment and improve teacher retention, but also affect student achievement – recent research has shown that they add to students ’math and reading achievement over a three-month period.

“Three months of student growth is significant within a school that serves, for example, 250 or 300 students,” said Michael Saylor, an education management officer at the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE). “We knew teachers had a big impact, but we didn’t know that education leaders had such a big impact on math and reading.”

Constant demand for effective principals has encouraged the University of Delaware, the DDOE and the Governor’s Office of Delaware to establish in January 2021 the Governor’s Institute for School Leadership (GISL) in partnership with Delaware School District and public schools.

Through the Academy of Assistant Directors GISL, the Assistant Director of Experience participated in a series of joint workshops on professional development and guidance activities taught by UD faculty and practitioners at the Delaware Academy of School Leadership (DASL) at the College of Human Development (CEHD). are involved. The first group of 12 assistant directors, called GISL Fellows, completed this annual program in December 2021.

Natalie Prinsilus, who is now a unique program overseer in the Christina School District, will receive her graduation certificate after graduating from the UD Governor’s School of Management under Jacqueline Wilson, director of the Delaware School of School Management.

Natalie Prinsilus, who is now a unique program overseer in the Christina School District, will receive her graduation certificate after graduating from the UD Governor’s School of Management under Jacqueline Wilson, director of the Delaware School of School Management.

“It was an absolute privilege to learn from such great leaders from across the state,” said Natalie Prinsilus, who is now the head of unique programs in the Christina School District. “Throughout the entire GISL course, we benefited so much from each other as we reviewed our data and researched action courses to improve fair access in the learning environment. The roles and responsibilities of school administration can be overwhelming because we We make daily decisions that can have a big impact on students’ results. I’m happy to have found 12 critical thinking partners. ”

What is the governing institution of school leadership?

Through this unique partnership, GISL enables assistant directors to participate in professional development and mentoring activities, and to address significant gaps in their training. Inside Delaware, first-year assistant directors receive professional development and coaching managed through a DDOE. In its second year, some assistant directors will then participate in a coaching program with DASL members. However, prior to GISL, a similar program was not available for assistant directors in the third year.

“Where is the most important point in developing a principal? For me, the third year is the most important year,” said Jacqueline Wilson, DASL Director and Assistant Professor at the CEHD School of Education (SOE), which has partnered with Sailor and DDOE GISL partners. “Until then, a lot of assistant directors are learning their job – they know enough to know what they don’t know. We thought this point would be a perfect opportunity for an induction program. We will get advice from great managers, we will have a training program developed by both teachers and DASL interns, and the courses will be taught in concert by DASL teachers and interns. Our faculty can offer research on best practices and then the intern can apply it to life. ”

Jacqueline Wilson, director of the Delaware School Leadership Academy, will present at the Governor’s Institute’s first group graduation ceremony for school leaders.

Jacqueline Wilson, director of the Delaware School Leadership Academy, will present at the Governor’s Institute’s first group graduation ceremony for school leaders.

After Wilson and his team laid the groundwork for GISL, Lauren Bales and Brian Van Gronigen, assistant professors of SOE who specialize in teaching leadership, designed the curriculum guidelines and tailored them to the needs of current assistant directors. This work was completed in 11 weekends for GISL fellows with sessions developed and co-taught by UD faculty and DASL team members.

For example, Bales, along with Mark Holodick, who previously worked as a senior leadership specialist at DASL before being appointed Secretary of Education in Delaware in January 2022, taught professional ethics in school leadership on the weekends.

“If we think of ethics as ethical values ​​in practice and activities to overcome difficult and competitive outcomes, that’s what school leaders do every day, maybe more than ever now, when we think about the current pandemic,” Bales said. “It’s basically about defining your personal values ​​in a school context. For example, what are my ethics in a school leadership role, and then how do I apply them to real constraints on things like facilities, budgets, laws, and space? How can I make the best decisions available to me, maximize my education among my students, and achieve the highest moral values ​​for the people in this organization? ”

Other topics of the meeting included the use of research and data to inform decision-making, the application of the practices of equal leaders, the promotion of the personal and professional well-being of teachers and staff, and the study of their leadership style. The program consists of five training modules, each of which meets the Professional Standards of Education Leaders.

The program also includes training for DASL leadership experts and an experienced trainer with a successful construction manager.

“These assistant principals do the hard work every day, do the necessary observations in their classrooms, oversee the canteens, oversee the hallways, and manage a number of school climate issues,” Kholodik said. “It often interferes with their willingness to become a director. They just don’t have time to sit down with a school leader and talk about their leadership style, their inability as a leader, or their ethics and values. Through GISL, each assistant director is assigned a head coach, who is usually in their district. Students can take what they have learned, apply it in their work, and also have conversations with their tutors, which we call “high gear.”

A valuable network of teachers

In addition to the facilitation and coaching element of the program, VanGronigen stressed the importance of the social and professional networking that GISL offers.

“Being a director is hard enough,” VanGronigen said. “These are highly qualified teachers, and we know that the risk of changing administrators is high, especially in schools in poor communities that need more good leadership. Focusing on the initial professional support of experienced assistants is extremely important as it can increase their socialization to a role that can dispel work loneliness. One of the many advantages of GISL is its cohort-based approach. Participants in this first group have 11 other colleagues working in different fields across the state who can use each other as a network for advice on issues. “

Holly Langley (left), assistant principal of Sussex Technical High School, will receive her graduation certificate after graduating from the School of School Administration under UD Governor by Jacqueline Wilson, director of the School Leadership Academy in Delaware.

Holly Langley (left), assistant principal of Sussex Technical High School, will receive her graduation certificate after graduating from the School of School Administration under UD Governor by Jacqueline Wilson, director of the School Leadership Academy in Delaware.

Many of the alumni in the first GISL group echoed VanGronigen’s sentiments, including Holly Langley, assistant director of Sussex Technical High School.

“New principals often come from a wide network of teaching colleagues, but when they enter the world of administration, they no longer have similar connections,” Langley said. “A network can be a way to exchange ideas, a resource library, a support system, a door of opportunity, and a way to build friendships. Through GISL, I have not only established a professional network of 11 other interested directors, I have also established contacts with DASL staff, researchers and practitioners at the University of Delaware.

The first group of GISL scholarship recipients included assistant principals from Appokinimink, Brandivain, Capital, Christina, Indian Rivers, Laurel, County New Castle and Sussex.

“Through GISL, we wanted to make sure that we really focus on making these future managers the skills needed to be very effective leaders and improve our Delaware student results, as we know that approximately 41% of assistant principals and Delaware directors are eligible to retire in the next five years and we will have a lot of open space, ”Sailor said.

In addition to the Academy Assistant Director, GISL is proposing a Leadership Research Council, which will also be launched in January 2021. The council is a joint effort between the districts, DDOE and DASL, which meet monthly to discuss and provide professional training on topics related to school improvement, equality. and improve outcomes for all students.

To learn more about GISL or to participate in one of the programs, visit the DASL website.

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