Addressing the Challenge of Preparing Assistant Principals for the Principalship in Moore County

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Date

2019-04-23

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Authors

Locklair, Tim

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East Carolina University

Abstract

This problem of practice study attempted to address the challenge of preparing assistant principals for the principalship in Moore County. Across the nation and state, it is a challenge to fill vacant principalships with quality candidates. This problem is magnified in rural school districts. Moore County has had an over 34% principal turnover rate over the last two years. While this turnover on its own was not necessarily negative, it did indicate the strategic need for Moore County to build a pipeline of principal ready candidates. Utilizing a Plan, Do, Study, Act improvement science process, a school leadership academy that involved a small cohort of 9 assistant principals was designed and implemented to address this problem. The design included year-long face-to-face meetings; internal and external professional learning opportunities; standards-based leadership assessments; exposure to leadership experts; and a principal screening interview. The data and observations from this study indicate that this improvement strategy had a positive impact on the problem. Additional recommendations and implications are shared that are applicable to principal preparation programs and school district leadership development initiatives.

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