Region Principals Attend State Leadership Institute

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Lakeshore Staff

July 18, 2014 — Some area school officials are doing some summer studying before students return to class.

Indiana State University’s Bayh College of Education kicked off the Indiana Principal Leadership Institute today with more than 100 Hoosier principals in attendance.

The Indiana Principal Leadership Institute is a two-year experience designed to address the professional needs of Indiana public school principals with an emphasis on student success. The institute will increase a principal’s ability to address the current needs of their schools, such as teacher evaluation models, student performance, community involvement and shaping a strong school culture.

The principals also will develop and implement personal and school improvement plans, facilitate action research projects at each school, refine school improvement plans and build a network of other principals to gain support during and beyond the institute experience, according to a statement.

The Institute’s inaugural class launched last summer with 57 principals. The members of the first class, who are entering their second year, are each bringing two teachers from their schools with them to today’s conference, as part of an effort to engage principals and teachers in strengthening their schools. The second cohort, which begins today, consists of 58 principals.

“Principals play a significant role in enhancing student achievement,” said Linda Marrs-Morford, executive director of the Indiana Principal Leadership Institute. “Based on the initial results from our first year, we are already making an impact as our principals lay the groundwork to completely implement policies and procedures that will put their schools on a path to not just better performance, but a place where the whole child can learn and grow.”

During the two-day session at Indiana State, the principals are connecting with their mentors, who will play a key role in guiding small group activities and discussions. Twenty-four Hoosier educators are serving as mentors to the members of the two cohorts and were selected through a collaborative between Indiana State University and the Indiana Association of School Principals.

The principals also are spending time with nationally recognized speakers, including Rick Wormeli, a teacher, author and one of the first Nationally Board Certified teachers in the country. Wormeli will give two presentations “What We Can Do When We Are Brave Together,” and “Principles First, Strategies Second: Minimizing Our Hypocrises.” The principals also will hear from Tammy Heflebower with the Marzano Reseach Laboratory, who will discuss “Leadership Matters,” and Eric Sheninger, a high school principal and author of Digital Leadership, who will share how to use technology to transform school cultures.

The Indiana Principal Leadership Institute at Indiana State University was created by bipartisan legislation authored by Sens. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) and Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn). It was supported by Sens. Tim Skinner (D-Terre Haute), Earline Rogers (D-Gary) and Lindel Hume (D-Princeton) and Reps. Bob Heaton (R-Terre Haute), Alan Morrison (R-Terre Haute), Wendy McNamara (R-Mount Vernon), Kreg Battles (D-Vincennes), Sue Errington (D-Muncie), and Clyde Kersey (D-Terre Haute). Gov. Mike Pence approved the legislation in May.

Below is a list of area principals attending the course:

Christine Wheeler – Pierce Middle School (Lake)
Cassandra Cruz – Kolling Elementary (Lake)
Michelle Ondas – Donald E. Gavit Middle/High School (Lake)
Allisa Schnick – South Central Elementary (LaPorte)
Sandra Wood – South Central Jr. Sr. High School (LaPorte)

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