First cohort of new EALR principal program graduates

Cohort 1 pic
Cohort 1 of WKU’s Principal Certification Program

WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research is pleased to congratulate the first graduating cohort of its recently-revised principal certification program.  This week members of Cohort 1 completed the final core courses of the program.  Once they have successfully passed their licensure exams these principal candidates will be fully eligible to seek administrative positions in schools.

In recent years the Kentucky Educational Professionals Standards Board directed WKU, along with all other state-approved university programs, to make significant changes in its principal certification coursework.  As a result, EALR adopted a new cohort-based principal training model utilizing hybrid (online/face-to-face) learning and a heavy focus on practical field-based experiences, all with a major emphasis on the role of the principal as instructional leader.

Cohort 1 began core courses in Fall 2013, completing their program 18 months later.  Cohort 2 launched in Fall 2014, including 37 new principal candidates, and EALR anticipates approximately 18 incoming principal candidates in Cohort 3, which will begin Spring 2015.

Cohort 1 includes 15 outstanding principal candidates representing 9 school districts:

  • Andrea Diggs, Jefferson County Schools
  • Annette Fackler, Meade County Schools
  • Rachel Fairman, Simpson County Schools
  • John Gray, McLean County Schools
  • Ashley Hayes, Jefferson County Schools
  • Ashley Hendrick, Barren County Schools
  • Gena Jeffries, Hardin County Schools
  • Sandra Light, Bowling Green Independent Schools
  • Nicole Lyons, Warren County Schools
  • Joey Norman, Warren County Schools
  • Susan Pfefferman, Warren County Schools
  • Jon Porter, Allen County Schools
  • Dan Robbins, Hardin County Schools
  • Carlos Quarles, Warren County Schools
  • Shawn Quinn, Warren County Schools

EALR congratulates these aspiring school leaders for their outstanding efforts in completion of their Level I principal certification coursework.  They served as worthy pioneers for the new program format and set a high standard of excellent for future cohorts.  We look forward to hearing of their great successes as they move into the next phase of their careers.

To learn more about principal certification at WKU, click here.

EALR Welcomes Dr. Amy Shutt as Co-Instructor

Amy Shutt
Dr. Amy Shutt, Principal of Burns Elementary School

The WKU Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, & Research is happy to welcome Dr. Amy Shutt, principal of Burns Elementary School (Daviess County Public Schools) to the EALR family.  This semester Dr. Shutt is serving as co-instructor for EDAD 640 (Introduction to School Leadership) and EDAD 641 (Building School Culture & Community) for Cohort II of the WKU Principal Certification Program.

Dr. Shutt is herself an alumna of WKU’s EALR program and holds a PhD in Educational Leadership from the University of Louisville.  Her dissertation research focused on school culture and she has worked closely with Dr. Chris Wagner, EALR transitional retiree and national expert on improving school culture.

Amy continues her duties as principal at Burns Elementary, where she has served for 11 years, while teaching at WKU.  She said the experience so far has been “like coming home.”

“As I came through the principal certification classes at WKU myself, the faculty there created a foundation for my leadership in schools,” she said.  “I hope to bring my own professional experiences to our graduate students that will equip them to be successful school leaders and keep their focus on what is best for students every day.”

Dr. Shutt partners with EALR associate professor Dr. Gary Houchens in working with the 37 members of Cohort II of the principal program this semester.

WKU Partners with GRREC for Leading 2 Learn

L2L at data teams
WKU principal candidates participate in data teams training alongside practicing administrators.

WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research is a key partner with the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative‘s new, $5 million, grant-funded initiative to provide high-quality professional development to practicing and aspiring school leaders.

Called Leading 2 Learn (L2L), the three-year grant will provide a variety of professional learning opportunities for leaders in the Allen, Barren, Grayson, and Todd County Schools.  School principals will receive training in instructional rounds, data teams, visible learning, and other high-leverage school improvement strategies.

The grant will also provide a generous tuition subsidy and enhanced mentoring supports for three cohorts teachers from these four districts to participate in WKU’s principal certification program.  Each cohort will include up to 20 principal candidates who will also have access to many of the same rich professional development workshops as their own practicing administrators.

Many of these aspiring leaders will be eligible for Level I principal certification by December 2015.  Recruitment for additional L2L aspiring principal cohorts will begin in February 2015.  Contact WKU principal program coordinator Dr. Gary Houchens, gary.houchens@wku.edu, for more information.

WKU Welcomes 37 New Principal Candidates

This semester WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, & Research welcomes Cohort II of the newly-revised principal preparation program.  Thirty-seven principal candidates representing 14 school districts launched into a new learning journey as WKU classes commenced this week.

These candidates join 15 others from Cohort I in WKU’s unique principal training program that emphasizes on-the-job leadership experiences and coursework delivered in a blended learning format.

Principal candidates in Cohort II include the following:

  • Jeremy Byrn (Allen Co. Schools)
  • Julie Croft (Allen Co. Schools)
  • Julie Shelton (Allen Co. Schools)
  • Melissa Jones (Allen Co. Schools)
  • Shari Alexander (Barren Co. Schools)
  • Ken Cook (Barren Co. Schools)
  • Olivia Dooley (Barren Co. Schools)
  • Lee Johnson (Barren Co. Schools)
  • Rachel Perkins (Barren Co. Schools)
  • Luke Pniewski (Barren Co. Schools)
  • Heather Shelton (Barren Co. Schools)
  • Lauren Simmons (Barren Co. Schools)
  • Jackie Williams (Breckenridge Co. Schools)
  • Hannah Jones (Campbellsville Independent Schols)
  • Weston Jones (Campbellsville Independent Schools)
  • Erica Frierson (Elizabethtown Independent Schools)
  • Danne Johnson (Fayette Co. Schools)
  • Michael Jones (Fayette Co. Schools)
  • Shannon Cates (Grayson Co. Schools)
  • Lea Ann Frank (Grayson Co. Schools)
  • Tonya Hill (Grayson Co. Schools)
  • Ashley Johnson (Grayson Co. Schools)
  • Kim Smith (Grayson Co. Schools)
  • Lorie Sutherland (Grayson Co. Schools)
  • Autumn Jones (Hardin Co. Schools)
  • Alison Langely (Hardin Co. Schools)
  • Carrie Prater (Hardin Co. Schools)
  • Keisha Fulson (Jefferson Co. Schools)
  • Nichele Washburn (Jefferson Co. Schools)
  • Dwan Williams (Jefferson Co. Schools)
  • Jennifer Kelly (Mead Co. Schools)
  • Savannah Denning (Simpson Co. Schools)
  • Samuel Evans (Simpson Co. Schools)
  • DarBy Haas (Simpson Co. Schools)
  • David Carmichael (Todd Co. Schools)
  • Kadi Ralston (Todd Co. Schools)
  • Leah Renfrow (Warren Co. Schools)

WKU plans to launch Cohort III of the principal program in Spring 2015.  Read more here.

Apply now for Spring 2015 WKU Principal Certification Cohort

WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, & Research is now reviewing applications for admission to the Spring 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 September 15, 2014.  Please email program coordinator Dr. Gary Houchens, gary.houchens@wku.edu, with questions or to express your intent to apply.

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.

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 are eligible for the Topper Educator Graduate Scholarship, which could save candidates thousands of dollars during the duration of their program.

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

Currently 52 principal candidates in two previous cohorts representing 16 districts are participating in WKU’s newly-revamped certification program.  Candidates admitted for Spring 2015 will join this group of aspiring administrators on an exciting leadership journey.

Again, send your questions or intent to apply to Dr. Houchens (gary.houchens@wku.ed) and submit your application by September 15, 2014 for priority consideration.