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UCPS' Growing Leaders program has second cohort

The second Growing Leaders From Within cohort are, (seated from left) Julia Rackley from Marshville Elementary, Catherine Perry from New Town Elementary, the program’s organizer Dr. Kenneth Hoover from East Union Middle School, Lynn Cole from Benton Heights Elementary School of Arts and Stephanie Burris from Fairview Elementary. Back row, from left, Elkin Lenis from Monroe Middle, Eric Doan from Prospect and Wesley Chapel Elementary Schools, Jeff Kraftson from Porter Ridge Elementary, Steve Campbell from Piedmont High School, Jeff Pusser from Central Academy of Technology and Arts, Dion Mapp from Marvin Ridge High school and Jim Zorn from Weddington Middle School.

The second wave of Union County Public Schools assistant principals are beginning their journey through the “Growing Leaders From Within” program, designed to help them step into the role of principal one day.

This is the second year the program has been offered. There are 11 assistant principals in this year’s cohort, representing 12 elementary, middle and high schools.

The concept of Growing Leaders From Within came from UCPS Deputy Superintendent Dr. David Clarke who had been looking for a way to fill the void for aspiring principals that was left after the PEP program (Principals Executive Program), disappeared a few years ago from lack of funding by the state.

The UCPS program’s organizer, Dr. Ken Hoover, principal at East Union Middle School, said he is very pleased with this year’s participants. “It’s a great cohort,” he said. “We’re excited.”

Jeff Kraftson, assistant principal at Porter Ridge Elementary, said he benefited a great deal from the program. “It’s gone very well,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot. We started out with the Myers Briggs [personality test] and that was a real eye-opener, as far as learning how our personalities work. It taught us how to use our strengths and then how to recognize our weaknesses and ways to work on those.”

Kraftson said the topics on budgets and professional learning communities help set the groundwork for moving into the role of principal. “It’s been a very good experience, and it’s also been very helpful in getting to know some of the other administrators and learning from their experiences.”

The program starts with a weeklong summer institute, and then the group meets for a half day twice a month throughout the school year. Some of that time they will be working with mentor principals from another school.

“Our goal is to prepare them so they can make that transition into the principalship as smooth as possible,” Hoover said.

Throughout the week, the cohort has benefited from the insight of several UCPS principals and members of the UCPS Cabinet Staff.

Participants this year are Julia Rackley from Marshville Elementary, Catherine Perry from New Town Elementary, Lynn Cole from Benton Heights Elementary School of the Arts, Stephanie Burris from Fairview Elementary, Elkin Lenis from Monroe Middle, Eric Doan from Prospect and Wesley Chapel Elementary Schools, Jeff Kraftson from Porter Ridge Elementary, Steve Campbell from Piedmont High School, Jeff Pusser from Central Academy of Technology and Arts, Dion Mapp from Marvin Ridge High School and Jim Zorn from Weddington Middle School.
 

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Jul 20, 2012 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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