Rodel Principal Initiative

The Rodel Principal Initiative recognizes principals who are well-established in their field and pairs them with aspiring school leaders from across Arizona to learn the trade from the experts.

The Rodel Exemplary Principal Initiative is all about mentorship. Each year, Rodel identifies some of Arizona’s best principals for their achievements in high-need schools and asks them to “give back” by serving as mentors for future school leaders.

Rodel Aspiring Principals are selected by Rodel as they commit to learn from the best school leaders in Arizona through a structured, two-year mentoring relationship with Rodel Exemplary Principals. Rodel prepares aspiring leaders to lead schools in Arizona with the highest need and addresses one of Arizona’s greatest challenges – filling the need for great principals in our most deserving schools.

These principals are established in their field, have a track record of high student achievement, and serve as mentors in high-need Arizona schools.

These future school leaders are committed to learning the trade from expert mentors and leading schools in Arizona communities with the highest need.

Participant Links

Everyone can remember a mentor who influenced their life. Whether it was on the field, in the classroom, or on the job, our mentors stay with us.
The Rodel Foundation of Arizona is committed to creating and fostering mentorship opportunities so Arizona’s future classroom teachers and school leaders are better prepared to support the ever-changing needs of children in Arizona.
Exemplary Teacher Angela Gomez, Promising Student Teacher Jessica Goold, and Exemplary Principal Alexis Wilson

Frequently Asked Questions

How are Rodel Exemplary Principals selected?

Each summer, superintendents with high-need Arizona schools in their district are invited to nominate Rodel Exemplary Principals. Rodel researchers review nomination materials and school data, then Rodel’s observation team interviews and observes the semifinalists. The most promising semifinalists are narrowed down to finalists, who are recognized in a Rodel press release. From that group of finalists, Rodel selects the most promising mentor principals and asks them to commit to training future school leaders.

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How do I become a Rodel Aspiring Principal?

In January, fill out an application packet and submit it to Rodel. The selection committee reviews applications and interviews Rodel Aspiring Principal finalists. Once selected, Aspiring Principals are paired with Exemplary Principals to begin a two-year mentorship and professional development program.

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What type of recognition do Rodel Exemplary Principals receive?

In addition to the opportunity to “pay it forward” by mentoring future school leaders, Exemplary Principals are recognized in local media outlets and in their district and community as exceptional educators and mentors.

Rodel Principal Initiative Data


Rodel Exemplary


Rodel Aspiring

  • 66 Arizona principals have been selected as Rodel Exemplary Principals.
  • Through Spring 2015, 157 aspiring school leaders in Arizona have been mentored by Rodel Exemplary Principals.
  • According to the most recent data available, 71% of the Rodel Aspiring Principals reported that they are serving as school administrators either as principals, assistant principals, or other administrative roles within a school or district.
  • According to the most recent data available, 58 Rodel Aspiring Principals reported that they are leading their own school as a principal.

Rodel Principal Initiative Leaders

Howard Paley

Chief Operating Officer

Mike Henderson

Director of Initiatives

Chelsea Carpenter

Assistant Director of Initiatives

Funding Partners