Several Jefferson County Public Schools principals will begin workshops this week in an effort to improve their leadership skills.
The program called Leadership Institute for School Principals was offered last year by the Kentucky Chamber Foundation as a pilot project. Principals participate in workshops offered by the Center for Creative Leadership in North Carolina. This year, the program is fully funded at $9,000 per principal by local businesses.
Fifteen JCPS principals will participate this year in two separate groups, the first of which begin workshops this week. The program asks the principals to self-reflect, said Karen Dyer, education director for the Center for Creative Leadership.
“It’s more to really talk about, so what do I know about my strengths and how can I really accentuate those, what is it do I know about areas that need development and how can I work on that,” she said.
Education policy makers agree teachers play the most important role in a student’s education, but several reports show the role of principal being second for improvement student achievement.
“We really target principals that are relatively new in their positions. We try to look for principals that have one to two years experience as a principal,” said Kelly Wolf, executive director of the Kentucky Chamber Foundation.
The first year was a funded by a grant from AT&T with matching funds from the business community, said Wolf. That group included 47 principals. This year is being fully by local businesses, she said, and 56 Kentucky principals are participating.