Inspiring Leadership Through Professional Development

Members of the current cohort of the Aspiring Principals program recently gathered for their fourth meeting out of the year-long program designed to provide experience with real scenarios and how to respond as a leader in their building.

“Through case studies of real-life scenarios, they step into the role of a school principal. This way, they’re familiar when they have those opportunities,” said Steve Cummings, Assistant Superintendent.

Scenarios include conducting school improvement plans as a principal would, analyzing school data, incorporating leadership standards, and more while facilitating school activities designed to maximize student achievement and success.

“It allows them to have a better perspective on how to run a school,” Cummings said.

Cohort member Dr. Whitney Smith is currently the Assistant Principal at North Harlem Elementary and says the program allows her to expand her mission as a leader to bring positive change.

 “There is so much that I have gained being a part of this program,” Smith added. “Just the expansion of my leadership capacity, being able to hear from other’s perspectives, and collaborate with district leaders.”

Smith added that she hopes to pursue an administration path with the school district.

The Aspiring Principals Program is one of several professional development opportunities the Columbia County School District offers to not only current administrators, but also teacher leaders.

The Aspiring Principal program culminates in February with a final presentation to district-level administrators.

 group photo

Aspiring Principals are pictured from left: Phillip Johnson, Lakeside High; Michelle Bush-Miller, Greenbrier Elementary; Dr. Whitney Smith, North Harlem Elementary; Angie McDaniel, Lewiston Elementary; Brian Killips; Evans High; Shawn Odom, Riverside Middle; Ashley Prince, Harlem High; and Andrew Young, Grovetown High.