Governor Bill Haslam on Friday announced the participants selected for the 2018 Governor’s Academy for School Leadership (GASL), a one-year fellowship program for assistant principals to increase their leadership capacity.
The third annual academy is a unique partnership between the state of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College and local school districts to cultivate and develop future school leaders and improve school effectiveness and student performance.
“I cannot think of a more important job than being a leader of a school, and that’s why it’s so important to identify and encourage future school leaders to help our teachers and students excel in the classroom,” Governor Haslam said. “You can walk into a school and tell right away if there is a great principal who is leading effectively. Great principals attract and keep great teachers, and great teachers lead to student success.”
Tennessee students are the fastest improving in the nation in science, according to the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly known as the Nation’s Report Card. And for the fourth year in a row, Tennessee had a record high school graduation rate – 89.1% in the 2016-17 school year.
Each assistant principal selected for the 2018 GASL class will be paired with an experienced principal mentor, must attend monthly group training sessions and a week-long summer institute at Vanderbilt, and intern three days a month at his or her mentor’s school. Upon completion of the academy, participants will be expected to pursue placement as a school principal in their districts or regions.
Participants were nominated by their district’s director of schools and selected through an application and interview process conducted by representatives from the Governor’s Office, the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) and Vanderbilt University.
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