Apply now for WKU’s Spring 2019 Principal Preparation Cohort!

Over the last two years more than 50 alumni of Western Kentucky University’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research have earned positions as assistant principals, principals, and other leadership roles in school and districts across Kentucky. If you are an aspiring school leader, or know someone who should consider that career path, now is the time to join the illustrious group of professionals who have earned their administrative credentials at WKU.

The principal program at WKU is currently accepting applications for the Spring 2019 cohort. Contact Dr. Stacy Leggett, admissions coordinator, at, to receive an application and begin the process.

Applicants must hold a Master’s degree (3.0 gpa minimum), Kentucky teacher certification, and have at least three years of teaching experience.

The program is 30 credit hours and leads to initial, Level I principal certification. The program can also be completed for Rank I credit. Applicants who work in Kentucky K-12 schools are eligible for a special tuition rate of $415 per credit hour, substantially less than the normal WKU graduate tuition rate.

Courses are taken with a cohort and delivered in a blended model of online and face-to-face components. Many courses are co-taught by WKU faculty and practicing administrators, and principal candidates are supported by a district-based mentor. The program places a heavy emphasis on the principal as both instructional leader and organizational manager. WKU’s principal program is currently undergoing a transformation through its participation in the Wallace Foundation University Principal Preparation Initiative grant, and cohort participants will receive the benefit of many of the curricular and structural changes unfolding as a result.

Please contact Dr. Leggett with questions or to apply: For priority consideration, please plan to submit application materials by November 30, 2018.

EALR alumni earn administrative posts for 2018

EALR alumnus Adam Hatcher, new principal of Greenwood High School

Summer means schools and districts are hiring new administrative positions, and as usual many alumni from WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research have been appointed as principal, assistant principal, and to other leadership positions. Appointments include the following, and will be updated as new hires are announced:

  • Adam Hatcher (Principal MAE, ’08), principal of Greenwood High School (Warren County Schools).
  • David Carmichael (Principal Rank I, ’16), principal of Todd County Middle School.
  • Jeremy Camron (Principal MAE, ’06), head teacher for the Owensboro Day Treatment Center.
  • Josh Basham (Principal Rank I, ’18), principal of Grayson County’s Alternative Education Center.
  • Josh Baldwin (Principal MAE, ’13), principal of Grayson County High School.
  • William Sims (Principal Certification, ’17), assistant principal of Southern Pulaski Middle School.
  • Kadi Ralston (Principal Certification, ’15), literacy grants coach and coordinator for the Christian County Schools.
  • Jaxon Grover (Principal MAE, ’09; DPP Rank I, ’16), principal of Franklin-Simpson Middle School.
  • Jimmy Felty (Principal Certification, ’17), principal of Morgantown Elementary School (Butler County Schools).
  • Updated, 7/12/18: Joni Britt (Principal Rank I, ’14), principal of North Bullitt High School.
  • Updated, 7/12/18: Christine Sherretz (Principal Certification, ’16), principal of Johnson Primary School, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (U.S. Department of Defense).
  • Updated, 7/20/18: Jonathan Devore (Principal Certification ’17), assistant principal, Barren County Middle School.
  • Updated, 8/4/18: Kendra Bronsink (Principal Certification, ’17), District Literacy Coach, Daviess County Schools.
  • Updated, 8/6/18: Kristin Froedge (Supervisor of Instruction Certification, ’17), supervisor of instruction, Hart County Schools.
  • Updated, 8/6/18: Krista Thompson (Principal Certification, ’16), assistant principal, Sutton Elementary School, Owensboro Public Schools.
  • Updated, 8/7/18: Beth Blandford (Principal Certification, ’16), assistant principal, Foust Elementary School, Owensboro Public Schools.
  • Updated, 8/9/18: Jonathan Vaughn (Principal Rank I, ’16), dean of students, Warren East High School.
  • Updated, 8/15/18: Debbie Bradshaw (Prinicipal Certification, ’16), principal, Adair County Primary Center.

We will continue to update this post with additional hiring announcements as they become available. Please contact Dr. Gary Houchens ( if you are aware of alumni news and we will share on social media.

EALR students receive scholarship, assistantship

Two students in WKU’s principal certification program have recently been recognized as recipients of a scholarship and assistantship, respectively.

Bryan Downing

Bryan Downing, assistant principal at South Warren Middle School and an Option 6 principal candidate, won the 2018 Kentucky Association of School Administrators Aspiring Administrator Scholarship. This competitive scholarship provides tuition for one summer class to an education administration student from each participating university. Students must be a member of KASA and demonstrate outstanding potential as a future school leader.

Melanie Weaver

WKU principal candidate Melanie Weaver, teacher at Doss High School in the Jefferson County Public Schools, was awarded the 2018 Tate C. Page Educational Leader Assistantship. This competitive program was named after and founded by the late WKU Dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Tate C. Page, to support aspiring school leaders at WKU who demonstrate excellence in academic achievement, character, and potential as they pursue their graduate education. Melanie will complete various leadership tasks for the Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research in exchange for tuition support provided by the assistantship.

Congratulations to both Bryan and Melanie.

Apply now for WKU’s newly-revised principal preparation program Fall 2018 cohort

Western Kentucky University’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research is currently piloting a 30-hour, Rank 1 in the principal preparation program. A description of the program is below. WKU offers a discount on graduate tuition for P12 educators who live and work in Kentucky. For more information, please see Currently, the Kentucky P12 Educator Discount tuition rate is $395 a credit hour. Our programs are also eligible for financial aid.

To learn more about the program please contact Dr. Stacy Leggett at or Missy Pardue at If you are interested in applying, please apply to the Principal Level 1, Cert Only program. You will need to apply to the graduate school and the principal preparation program. Both applications are available at

Course Requirements under the 30-hour, Rank 1, Pilot
Co-requisite courses (9 hours)
These courses may be taken before, during, of after 18 hours of core principal certification classes, but students may not apply for certification until all co-requisites are complete. They are usually offered at least once during summer term and at least once during the school year (either fall or spring). At times, we may offer a course during winter term if there is enough interest. These courses may be offered all online, or they may be offered in a blended format. It usually depends on the instructor.

  • EDAD 588 Allocation and Use of Resources
  • EDAD 677 Legal Issues for Professional Educators
  • EDAD 684 Instructional Leadership

Level I core courses (18 hours)
These courses must be taken sequentially, two courses each term (Fall, Spring, Fall or Spring, Fall, Spring). Fieldwork consistent with the role of the school principal is required in each course. The courses are offered in a cohort format and each course has two face-to-face meetings on Saturday. This gives you a total of 4 Saturdays each semester.

  • Semester 1: EDAD 640 Introduction to School Leadership/EDAD 641 Building Culture and Community
  • Semester 2: EDAD 642 Leveraging Community Systems & Resources/EDAD 643 Securing and Developing Staff
  • Semester 3: EDAD 644 Creating Organizational Structures & Operations/EDAD 645 Practicing the Principalship
  • Internship Course (3 hours)

You will complete one section of our six-hour internship requirement. You may complete the seminar or the actual internship experience as part of the pilot.

Please contact Dr. Leggett at the address listed above for more information or to apply. Also please join us on May 22 at 4 p.m. at The Bistro on College Street in Bowling Green for an after-hours event to learn more about the program and celebrate our graduates and alumni.

Join us for WKU’s Principal Prep After Hours Event

The Principal Preparation Program in WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research will host an after-hours event for program alumni and prospective students on Tuesday, May 22, from 4-6 p.m. Central time at The Bistro, 1129 College Street, Bowling Green, KY. Program graduates are encouraged to bring someone with them who might want to learn more about principal certification at WKU, including our new 30-hour pilot program leading to Rank I. See details below and email Dr. Stacy Leggett at to RSVP your attendance.

EALR recognizes 2018 outstanding students



WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research recognized outstanding students at the 2018 College of Educational and Behavioral Sciences annual awards program at April 29.

The following students received the Outstanding Education Administration Student Award:

  • Jessica Scheerhorn (pictured on the right)
  • Melanie Weaver (pictured on the left)
  • Linzie Wells (not pictured)
  • Tim Wimsatt (not pictured)
  • Casey Yates (not pictured)

The Outstanding Adult Education Graduate Student for 2018 was Elizabeth “Buffy” Tanner (not pictured).

EALR alumna Savannah Denning (Principal Rank I, ’15) was also honored as Outstanding Educational Leadership Doctoral Program Student.

Congratulations to all these students for their accomplishments!

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 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.