District continues effort to expand ‘grow-your-own’ principal pipeline


Dallas ISD encourages teachers and campus instructional coaches who aspire to be campus leaders to apply to one of the district’s partner principal preparation master’s programs.

Dallas ISD partners with three university master’s degree programs: The Texas Principal Leadership Academy at the University of Texas at Austin, the Future Leaders Academy at the University of North Texas at Dallas and the Aspiring Leaders Program at Southern Methodist University. UT and SMU are currently accepting applications into their programs. Dallas ISD offers partial tuition reimbursement to district employees who go through one of its partner programs.

Each partner program offers unique opportunities for participants, including a varying length of program, an array of hands-on learning experiences and support, and diverse modes of instruction.

Miguel Maymi, a current participant in the Texas Principal Leadership Program at the University of Texas, speaks highly of the support and development he has received as a result of joining the program.

“I feel confident that by the end of my principal prep academy experience, I will be ready to be an assistant principal,” Maymi said. “Working with my mentor principal, campus leadership team and the faculty at UT this year are absolutely preparing me for that. I know that I am on track because of the people around me who are supporting me.”

Dallas ISD last school year launched the LEAD Department, which stands for Leader Excellence, Advancement and Development.  Encouraging high-potential teachers and campus instructional coaches, like Miguel, to take the next step into leadership is part of the department’s efforts to develop the district’s future leaders and ensure that year after year, each school has an effective leader.

LEAD focuses on four key areas: attracting talented, diverse candidates who could become high-quality principal candidates; growing leaders at all levels into strong principal candidates; providing exceptional professional development for campus leaders; and identifying strategies to retain high-performing principals.

“Second to teachers, principals have the greatest impact on student achievement,” Dallas ISD LEAD Executive Director Menay Harris said.  “However, excellent principals are not developed by accident.  Partnering with these three universities is part of our intentional effort to develop the district’s most promising future leaders.  This way, we continue to ensure effective leadership in each school.  Our students and families deserve nothing less.”

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