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New initiative meant to create pipeline of principals

Staff Report //January 22, 2020//

New initiative meant to create pipeline of principals

Staff Report //January 22, 2020//

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The Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative and the Low Country Education Consortium have launched the Low Country Center for Educational Leadership. The center is intended to create a pipeline of trained and certified principal candidates to fill vacancies within the tri-county region’s four school districts.

According to a news release, the project was initiated two years ago to create a pipeline of aspiring principals because high turnover often led to positions being filled by people who were not prepared for the job.

“Having a core of well-trained and ready instructional leaders in our region is central to the work my superintendent colleagues and I have undertaken,” said Dr. Gerrita Postlewait, superintendent of Charleston County School District.

Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative CEO Phyllis Martin said the organization is pleased to be a part of the collaboration. The organization is the fiscal agent and fundraiser for the project.

“In our work to see that all children in the region secure a high-quality education, the role principals play is pivotal,” Martin said.

The Low Country Center for Educational Leadership’s training initiative has three components. The first, to help train current principals and principal supervisors, began last summer when 45 principals started a yearlong training conducted by the University of Washington’s Center for Educational Leadership.

A second component will provide training for principal supervisors. The final component is the development of the training for aspiring principals.

Candidates will be identified by each district, and those who complete the program will be placed in a candidate pool for consideration to fill vacancies in each district, the release said.

Consultants who work with the Center for Educational Leadership faculty are developing the program alongside representatives of each school district to ensure a common study program while being responsive to each district’s differences.

“I am excited about the potential that a talent development pipeline has for our region,” said Dorchester School District Four Superintendent Kelvin Wymbs. “The tremendous community support that exists here from business and industry is a competitive advantage for the region.”

Berkeley County School District Superintendent Eddie Ingram said business leaders in the county and across the region know better than anyone the importance of strong principals for schools. And business leaders are the beneficiaries for effective public education, he said.

“When we call on them, I am confident they will respond as Blackbaud, Bosch, Volvo and others have done,” Ingram said.

Joe Pye, superintendent for Dorchester School District Two said strong school leaders are essential to student success.

“We know that well-defined leadership competencies, rigorous hiring processes and robust professional learning opportunities for school leaders positively impacts student learning,” Pye said. “Students benefit when we invest in talented leaders.”

Once fully established, the Lowcountry Center for Educational Leadership is intended to be self-funded through tuitions paid by the districts, the release said.