Three EALR alumnae named to KASA’s Women in Educational Leadership cohort

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.

Many EALR alumni achieve administrative positions for 2017

WKU EALR alumni Shari Alexander and Jennifer Myers were both appointed to principal positions for 2017 (photo Glasgow Daily Times)

Numerous alumni from WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research programs have been named to various K-12 administrative posts throughout Kentucky for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year:

If readers are aware of other recent appointments of EALR alumni, please email the information to Dr. Houchens at gary.houchens@wku.edu and we will update the post accordingly. Congratulations to all of these distinguished WKU alumni!

EALR recognizes outstanding students

WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research recognized several students for their outstanding performance during the 2017 College of Educational and Behavior Sciences Awards program.

The following individuals received the Outstanding Educational Administration Student Award:

  • James Felty
  • Joshua Basham
  • Sara Morgan
  • Lacey Mahaney
  • Amy Irwin
  • Linda Caudle
  • Abigail (Abbi) Long (not pictured above)

The Outstanding Adult Education Graduate Student for 2o17 was Lizze Finley (also not pictured above).

Congratulations to all of these students for their accomplishment.

EALR selected for Wallace Foundation grant to improve principal preparation

Today the Wallace Foundation announced that WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research is one of seven universities across the nation selected to participate in a four-year grant-funded initiative to improve principal preparation.  WKU will partner with the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative and the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board to make school principal training “more inclusive and cooperative with the community, state and other stakeholders,” according to EALR Department Chair Dr. Marguerita DeSander.

Read more about the announcement here.

With its partners, WKU will develop a competency-based principal training program that will track the development of aspiring school leaders from their initial interest in administration, through their university training, and into their early years of service on the job. The goal is to make principal professional learning more responsive to the needs of schools in the region and to deliver more customized and on-time supports for administrators new to the field.  WKU will receive more than $1.7 million in the first year along with guidance and support from the Wallace Foundation and technical assistance partners.

EALR professors Houchens and Zhang win Faculty Excellence Awards

WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research was honored to have two professors earn Faculty Excellence Awards for the 2016 College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.

Drs. Houchens and Zhang with CEBS Dean Dr. Sam Evans
Drs. Houchens and Zhang with CEBS Dean Dr. Sam Evans

Dr. Gary Houchens won the CEBS award for Student Advising, while Dr. Jie Zhang earned the award for Research.  They were recognized with a university-wide reception and awards ceremony in April.

Each year students, faculty, and administrators nominate faculty members for awards in Teaching, Research, Student Advisement, and Public Service.  This year awards were also given for outstanding part-time faculty members.  A faculty committee reviews a portfolio of materials from nominees and each college selects an award winner for each category.  Drs. Houchens and Zhang will now be considered for the university-wide faculty awards, which will be announced at the faculty/staff Convocation in August.

Drs. Houchens and Zhang were also awarded tenure in 2016.  Both joined the faculty of WKU in 2010.  Dr. Houchens works primarily with students in the principal certification program while Dr. Zhang teaches research methods in the WKU Doctorate of Educational Leadership program where she also serves on numerous dissertation committees.

EALR Welcomes New Faculty Members

WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research is pleased to welcome two new associate professors to the faculty, Dr. Janet Hurt and Dr. Stacy Leggett.

Dr. Janet Hurt is a veteran Kentucky educator who has served as an EALR adjunct instructor in the past.  Over her career as a school leader Dr. Hurt has served as a teacher, guidance counselor, principal, and associate superintendent in two districts as well as the director of the GRREC/OVEC Race to the Top grant.  She regularly provides consulting services to schools and districts. Dr. Hurt will teach in the principal preparation program and also courses for other certifications including supervisor of instruction and director of pupil personnel. She is currently spearheading a revision and update to the department’s superintendent program.  Dr. Hurt earned a Ph.D. in 2008 from the University of Louisville and conducts qualitative research on a variety of educational topics.

“I am honored to be joining the Educational,  Administration, Leadership and Research department at WKU as an associate professor,” Dr. Hurt said.  “It is an outstanding department with top-notch faculty, administrators and staff who consistently model excellence.  I am delighted to be part of a group of professionals who work hard every day to provide an exceptional education for aspiring school and district leaders.”

Dr. Stacy Leggett joins the EALR team from her most recent role as Director of Secondary and Career-Technical Education for the Martin County school district in North Carolina.  Dr. Leggett is a 2015 graduate from The George Washington University with an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.  She was the recipient of the Achilles-Harper-Swenson Emerging Research Award at the 2013 CREATE Conference.  She taught high school math and social studies for 13 years before becoming a school and then district level administrator.  She practices quantitative research methods and is interested in principal and teacher evaluation.  Stacy will primarily teach in EALR’s principal certification program.

“I am excited about the opportunity to join the WKU EALR faculty,” said Dr. Leggett.  “I hope that the experiences I bring will help me contribute to this great team and ultimately make a positive impact on leading, teaching, and learning in Kentucky.”

Both Dr. Hurt and Dr. Leggett will advise students in the WKU Doctorate in Educational Leadership program.  We welcome them to the team!

EALR welcomes new faculty member, Dr. Tom Stewart

TomWKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research is pleased to welcome its newest faculty member, Dr. Tom Stewart.

Dr. Stewart is a veteran Kentucky educator and experienced university faculty member.  He will teach primarily in the school principal certification and supervisor of instruction programs.

A 2011 graduate of WKU’s Doctorate of Educational Leadership program, Dr. Stewart has taught elementary, middle, and high school students, served as a district instructional supervisor, and has worked for the Kentucky Department of Education as a Highly-Skilled Educator and Educational Recovery Leader.  He is also a former professor of education at Austin Peay State University.

Dr. Stewart regularly provides consulting and professional development services to area schools and districts, leads Diagnostic Reviews for AdvancED, and conducts qualitative research studies on the contemplative dimensions of teaching and school leadership.

“I am sincerely honored to be returning to my alma mater as a faculty member,” Dr. Stewart said.  “I look forward to continuing and extending my work with practicing school and school district leaders, as well as learning with my colleagues and aspiring school leaders at WKU.”

Apply Now for the 2015 Tate Page Education Leader Assistantship

The Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research invites applications for the 2015 Tate C. Page Educational Leader Assistantship.  Applications are due April 30, 2015.

This assistantship program, founded by the late WKU dean of the College of Education, is worth $2,750 this year.  All students admitted to WKU education administration programs (Principal Level I, Principal Level II, DPP, supervisor of instruction, and superintendent) and who will be taking at least one class during the Fall 2015 term are eligible to apply.

The successful applicant will demonstrate excellence in scholarship, potential for leadership, good character, and financial need.

This is an assistantship program, rather than a scholarship.  The successful applicant will agree to complete duties as assigned by the Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research as a condition of receiving the assistantship.  For the 2015 award, the successful applicant will assist with screening principal candidates in the Spring 2016 cohort.

Please contact Dr. Gary Houchens, gary.houchens@wku.edu, for more information or to receive an application.

Apply now for Fall 2015 WKU principal certification program

WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, & Research is now reviewing applications for admission to the Fall 2015 principal certification program cohort.  Click here for more information about principal certification at WKU, and click here to access an application packet.

For priority consideration, applications should be received by March 30, 2015.  Please email Dr. Gary Houchens, program coordinator, to request an application, ask questions, or express your intent to apply: gary.houchens@wku.edu.

WKU seeks highly-effective teachers with at least 3 years of successful classroom experience, a Master’s degree, and a 3.0 minimum Master’s-level grade point average for application to our rigorous, cohort-based certification program.

The program requires a minimum of 18 credit hours completed over a three-semester timeframe.  Many candidates can be eligible for Level I certification in as little as 18 months.  Candidates may complete the program for certification only or for Rank I status (requires a minimum of 30 credit hours).  Options are also available for completing principal certification as a component of the Educational Specialist (EdS) degree or Doctor of Educational Leadership (EdD) program (additional admissions requirements apply for both options).

WKU’s principal program is offered in a hybrid format, blending online learning and approximately four face-to-face Saturday classes per semester.  Principal courses heavily emphasize field-based experiences that immerse candidates in leadership opportunities in their own schools and districts.  A mentoring component ensures principal candidates receive on-going feedback and support at the district level as they progress through the program.

We anticipate that all principal candidates who are graduates of WKU’s College of Education and Behavior Sciences or who are employed in a district belonging to the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative will be eligible for the Topper Educator Graduate Scholarship, which could save candidates thousands of dollars during the duration of their program.

Also, principal candidates from Allen, Barren, Grayson, and Todd County school districts may be eligible for the WKU-GRREC Leading 2 Learn (L2L) grant-funded partnership that offers additional tuition subsidies and professional development supports.

WKU strongly supports diversity in school leadership and encourages all minority candidates to apply.

Our first cohort in the new program recently completed their Level I requirements and are eligible for administrative positions around Kentucky.  Currently 55 principal candidates in two additional cohorts representing 21 districts are participating.  Candidates admitted for Fall 2015 will join this group of aspiring administrators on an exciting leadership journey.

Again, send Dr. Houchens your questions, application request, or intent to apply (gary.houchens@wku.ed) and submit your application by March 30, 2015 for priority consideration.

(Almost) Free SLLA Test Prep Session Returns to WKU

EALR associate professor Dr. Mike Putnam will be reprising his hugely popular test prep session for the School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA), required of all aspiring school principals in Kentucky and many other states.  The session will be held on Friday, February 27, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Central time, continuing on Sunday, February 28, from Noon to 5:00 p.m. Central time in Gary Ransdell Hall Room 3076 on WKU’s main campus.

The session is $20 for WKU students and alumni, and $40 for non-WKU-affiliated participants.  Payment should be in cash at the beginning of the Friday session; receipts will be provided.  Please bring a 1 1/2 – 2 inch three ring binder for materials.

Dr. Putnam developed this test review with Dr. Dennis Bunch of the University of Mississippi.  Kentucky currently has a passing cut score of 160 on the SLLA.  Previous prep sessions at WKU have resulted in a 100 percent pass rate for participants graduating from WKU administrator preparation programs and 97 percent for non-WKU graduates.

The session will include a review of the six ISLLC standards upon which the SLLA is based, and feature timed test prep exercises and hands-on activities and discussions.  The Kentucky Principal Test will also be briefly addressed.

Participants must agree to confidentially share their SLLA test score results with Dr. Putnam as he uses this data to continue refining the test prep process and may publish an analysis of results in the future.

Contact Dr. Putnam at michael.putnam@wku.edu by end of the day on Tuesday, February 17, to register.  Please include your name, phone number, current school and district, and professional role in your  message.