Kentucky schools benefiting from program with support of business community

As Kentucky continues to seek to find ways to improve education in the state, the Kentucky Chamber Foundation’s Leadership Institute for School Principals has proudly graduated another group of educators who will take their new skills home to their districts.

principals 2Since the start of the program in 2011, the Kentucky Chamber Foundation has raised and spent more than $2 million to help principals in the state receive CEO-level leadership training at no cost to the educator.

The Leadership Institute for School Principals uses the generous donations of individuals and businesses across the state to allow principals to attend for free a three-day session in Greensboro, North Carolina and another four day training at the Kentucky Chamber headquarters where they are trained by a nationally acclaimed provider of executive education.

The program, which hosts two classes of an average of 25 principals in each group, saw another group complete the training in January 2015 and will congratulate them with a ceremony at the governor’s mansion in March.

Many of the educators in the most recent class say that the knowledge they have gained from the Leadership Institute for School Principals is already allowing for progress within their schools.

“The practical takeaways have directly impacted student achievement in our building. The work surrounding culture has enabled me to facilitate moving our school from toxic to a high performing culture focused on student success,” Farnsley Middle School Principal Linda Hudson said of the program.

One of the main aspects of the training mentioned by most of the participants is the one-on-one coaching provided through the institute. Principals in the program receive year-round coaching from a professional, which many say helps them to get a better understanding of themselves as a leader and in turn be able to successfully lead.

“Although there have been many aspects of the program’s components that I’ve been able to use in my role as school principals 1principal, the life coach piece has made a great impact on my self-confidence and being able to acknowledge what I have to offer my teachers and district,” Uniontown Elementary School Principal Tamala D. Howard said.

Overall, the program seeks to help education leaders develop behaviors and learn activities that will lead to positive results for their school and for the district. The experience also helps top educators build a network among other principals to share ideas and assist each other to help move the state’s education system forward.

With a focus on reaching education professionals early in their careers, the benefits of the training will have a long lasting effect on the educator and the district.

“This year, my school has experienced major transitions with 15 new staff members including a new principal, me. My experiences with CCL have been key in leading my staff through the wilderness,” Crestwood Elementary School Principal Candace McDaniel explained.

To date, principals from 67 of Kentucky’s 120 counties have received training from the Leadership Institute for School Principals.principals 3

Because of the positive response received from the principals training, the program is now being extended to involve Kentucky superintendents beginning in summer 2015.

Similar to the curriculum for principals in the program, Kentucky superintendents will learn more about themselves as leader and program leaders from the Center for Creative Leadership will assist in creating an action plan for achieving leadership success.

The superintendent program will focus specifically on issues facing Kentucky superintendents during a three-day program at CCL headquarter followed by two sessions with a personal career coach.  The first session is set for June 23-25, 2015 in Greensboro, N.C. The fee for superintendents to attend the Leadership Institute is $5,000.

If you are interested in making a contribution to help train more educators in the state or want to nominate a school leader for the program, call Kelly Wolf at 859-221-8813 or email her at to pledge your community’s support for a better education system in Kentucky. If you would like more information on registration, visit

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Jacqueline Pitts
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