Three alumnae of WKU’s principal certification program have been selected for the Kentucky Association of School Administrators‘ first-ever Kentucky Women in Educational Leadership (KWEL) cohort. KASA selected 30 applicants based on a competitive process to participate in a new initiative to promote and encourage aspiring and new female school administrators.
“KWEL is defining the future for women in public education while building on the foundation laid by the Kentucky Women in School Administration, which was KASA’s first women’s initiative in the 1980s and 1990s when few women held leadership positions in school districts,” said Rhonda Caldwell, Ed.D., KASA executive deputy director. “KWEL members will benefit from a support system, leadership development opportunities, career advancement, shared experiences through a network of on-going professional growth and development, coaching and mentoring, and reward and recognition of women who are exemplary leaders.”
Among those selected for the KWEL cohort were Kendra Bronsink (Principal certification, ’15), Instructional Coach for the Daviess County Schools; Patrice Collins (Principal certification, ’18), teacher with the Daviess County Schools; and Ginger Estes (Principal Rank I, ’15), assistant principal at Hancock County High School.
According to Ms. Bronsink, KWEL helps extend the network of professional support she first found in WKU’s principal program:
My experience in the WKU Owensboro Principal Cohort was transformative both professionally and personally because of the collaborative environment in which I was able to do the challenging work of leadership reflection. . . I wouldn’t be the educator I am today if I hadn’t journeyed with these seven other women and one man in our WKU cohort. When I read about the KWEL program I was quick to apply because I wanted to continue to surround myself with other strong women leaders around the state who are facing the same challenges I face in my own context. We spend plenty of time talking about how our school or our district is going to overcome the barriers to success that our students are facing. In actuality, we are ALL facing these barriers, and we can learn a tremendous amount by listening to those outside of our immediate circles of leadership.
Ms. Estes agreed that KWEL presents a rich opportunity to grow professionally:
I think the KWEL cohort will address both my weaknesses and strengths as a leader and not only teach me how to model great leadership skills, but to grow from them and apply them to current opportunities and, hopefully, to many future endeavors. Personally, I believe there is much to learn about being a woman in leadership and I am excited to discover how I can use that knowledge for the betterment of all educators.
Ms. Collins was especially excited for the chance to learn from other experienced women educational leaders:
I am committed to personal excellence and believe strongly in my potential for continued success. KWEL will provide an excellent support system, leadership development opportunities, and shared experiences through a network of on-going professional growth and development. The opportunity of being coached and mentored by exemplary leaders that have come before is a monumental opportunity.
WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research congratulates our outstanding alumni for this achievement and wishes them great success as part of the KWEL cohort. To find out more about how you can take the journey to school leadership at WKU, visit our webpage.