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Charter System to Train Aspiring Leaders


Last updated 8/20/2019 at 7:35pm

Leadership has long been a trait Lake Wales Charter Schools have stressed for their students. Now, a new program is aiming to help more quickly develop future leaders among teachers at the system's seven schools.

The idea is to to help identify and train a new group to become assistant principals and beyond. Teachers must have spent at least three years in the classroom to be considered for the new initiative.

"The Aspiring Leaders program is a monthly professional development program for those teachers who have a desire to become a future administrator," said April Barnhardt, who current serves as assistant principal at Janie Howard Wilson Elementary. "This program covers the the Florida Principal Leadership Standards that are set forth in rule as Florida's core expectations for effective school administrators."

She said there are a number of different elements that went into coming up with the guidelines for the program.

"The standards are based on contemporary research on multi-dimensional school leadership, and represent skill sets and knowledge bases needed in effective schools," Barnhardt added. "The standards form the foundation for school leader personnel evaluations and professional development systems, school leadership preparation programs, and educator certification requirements."

Once interested staffers are accepted into the program, they will spend the entire school year getting special leadership training.

"At the end of the year-long program, all candidates will take a written exam and oral interviews with a committee of leaders within our charter system," Barnhardt added. "Those who complete this course successfully will be placed into our LWCS assistant principal pool."


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