2013 Rodel Aspiring Principals with their Rodel Exemplary Principal mentors

Recognition for Rodel’s Principal Initiative

An independent evaluation of the Exemplary Principal Initiative shared the following:

“The Rodel Principal Initiative is clearly contributing to the advancement of school leaders and the quality of their leadership in high-need schools throughout Arizona. With each new cohort of Exemplary and Aspiring Principals the network of talent grows and the Rodel vision for Arizona schools is closer to being realized. Continued support of the program is emphatically supported by the findings of this formative evaluation. If the resources exist to scale the program up, it would be a wise investment in education and the professionals who lead it!”


How Rodel Aspiring Principals Are Selected

  • Aspiring school leaders (current teachers, coaches, assistant principals or other school administrators) are encouraged to apply to become Rodel Aspiring Principals.
  • Interested candidates submit an application packet (available in January), including data that represents their impact on student learning and achievement at their school and three letters of recommendation, including one from district superintendency or a representative of the charter holder.
  • Rodel’s selection committee reviews all application packets and conducts interviews with qualified candidates.
  • Rodel Aspiring Principals are selected from these candidates to participate in Rodel seminars and are paired with a Rodel Exemplary Principal who will guide them during the two-year structured mentorship program.
  • Rodel Aspiring Principals are recognized in a Rodel press release each spring.

Program Timeline – 2016 Rodel Aspiring Principals

Click on the month tabs below for detailed information about the application and selection timeline for Rodel Aspiring Principal candidates.

January 2016

  • Application materials for 2016 Aspiring Principals are now available. Click the button below for details.

March 1, 2016

  • Deadline for submitting Rodel Aspiring Principal applications and references to Rodel.

March 2016

  • Rodel evaluates applications and interviews selected candidates.

April 2016

  • 2016 Rodel Aspiring Principals are announced.

May 2016

  • Orientation Seminar takes place.

Year One Seminars

  • September, October, and November 2016
  • January and March 2017

Year Two Seminars

  • September 2017
  • January and March 2018

Professional Learning Seminars and Assignments

The Rodel Principal Initiative provides the opportunity to learn the systems necessary for schoolwide success from highly effective practicing administrators. This occurs in professional learning seminars as well as in Exemplary Principals’ schools.

Click on each topic below to learn more about the Professional Learning Seminars:

The Influencing Leader

This seminar focuses on strategies and techniques for building positive relationships with your staff and how to use these positive relationships to influence highly effective workflow.

Collaborative School Environment

This seminar focuses on the strategies and techniques necessary to develop and cultivate a collaborative school environment to support teaching and learning.

Family and Community Involvement

This seminar focuses on strategies and techniques to involve parents, family, and community members in the education of their children and the activities of the school.

Professional Learning

This seminar focuses on strategies and techniques to involve stakeholders in data analysis and decision-making in order to drive instruction and professional development. The focus will be on assisting administrators in creating and maintaining an on-site Professional Learning Community.

Establishing and Maintaining High Expectations

This seminar focuses on strategies and techniques to help administrators communicate school goals and high expectations, as well as providing the resources and support to achieve success.

Courageous Conversations

This seminar will assist high-potential administrators in developing the skills and techniques to have courageous conversations with their staff, students and all stakeholders.

School Budgets

This seminar will help high-potential administrators develop a better understanding of school budgets and how to become an effective Chief Financial Officer for a school.

Applicant and Interviewing Process for the School Leader

This seminar will provide strategies and techniques for high-potential administrators interested in applying for a leadership position within the school or district.

Hot Topics

Each seminar will feature ‘Hot Topics’ that will influence leaders to gain a solid understanding of current information affecting Arizona education.

These seminars will follow the trademark high-quality professional training offered in all of Rodel’s initiatives. These seminars, led by Rodel staff, will include presentations by Exemplary Principals, outside trainers or partner organizations, who bring their specific expertise to particular topics.

Rodel Aspiring Principals are required to attend all training seminars.


Each Rodel Aspiring Principal will be asked to maintain a log of the work they do outside of the Rodel Professional Learning Seminars. The logs are turned in for review twice a year. Rodel Aspiring Principals will receive feedback on their log.


Capstone Project

Each Rodel Aspiring Principal will be asked to create a project which will benefit the students at their site. This project must be approved by their site principal (if necessary), school district administration, and the Rodel Foundation. The project should address a specific need at the school and last for a minimum of one semester. The capstone project should be developed with the belief that it will be an ongoing project at the school. This means each Rodel Aspiring Principal will be responsible for developing the project, identifying and gathering necessary resources, developing an assessment for the project, and ensuring the project can be supported in the long term.

Rodel Aspiring Principals are encouraged to work with their mentor principal in developing their capstone project. They are encouraged to reach out to Rodel for assistance in identifying additional Exemplary Principals with specific skills and/or experience in the area of the capstone.

The Perceptions of Aspiring Principals Participating in

the Rodel Foundation of Arizona’s Exemplary Principal Initiative

By Edy LaShelle Schlosser

A Dissertation submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Northern Arizona University


Tell me what has the Rodel Exemplary Principal Initiative experience meant to you? What has it contributed to your development as educators over the past 2 years?

“Has provided an opportunity to network with quality educators”

“Has allowed me to grow within the education profession”

“People get out of Rodel what they put into it. They have the best of the best of educational leaders”

“Has been the greatest professional development experience of my career”


How did you all develop trust within the mentor/mentee relationship? Did it come blindly or did it take a while?

When this question was asked, participants shared the following perceptions regarding the development of trust between mentor and mentees:

“The trust happened quickly and came blindly”

“Knowing that my mentor was an Exemplary Principals selected by Rodel helped me trust sooner”

“Once the trust was built and relationship was established, I knew that I could use my mentor as a resource and depend on them”

“The seminar sessions in year one, helped me to build the bridge and trust with my mentor”


What are the benefits of mentoring from your perspectives? When this question was asked, participants shared the following perceptions regarding the benefits of mentoring:

“ Networking with concrete, specific example. I have called my mentor and asked ‘What do you do?”

“Reassurance, guidance, and advice. Knowing that my mentor supports me and me knowing that I am not crazy”

“The support, growth, and self-development as an Aspiring Principal and new administrator”

“Knowing that you can trust someone and know that you have someone to guide you. . .”

“Helpful to have an outside perspective because when are you in a school district you sometimes get tunnel vision. It’s nice to hear from someone outside of your district, who is not in the same daily grind as you are. . .”


Do you believe that you are prepared to lead your own school or take on the role as an assistant principal now that you are almost done with the Rodel program? Why or why not?

When this question was asked, participants shared the following perceptions regarding their preparation as educational leaders:

“Definitely! I am implementing what I learn in the seminar sessions and taking it back to my school”

“Seminars give us tools that we can use. Specifically, the Collaborative School and Community [seminar]. Also the day we did the headband game, I took that back to my staff and did it in a staff meeting and told them that they could utilize it in their own class”

“ . . .I have used the skills that I gained to help build my master and classroom teachers. I take back what I learn and pass it on”

“I believe that this program has been significant in my preparation as an assistant principal. What I learned at ASU in my Master’s classes doesn’t compare to the hands-on and practical knowledge I have gained by being an Aspiring Principal with Rodel.”


How did your mentor help you learn about educational leadership?

When this question was asked, participants shared the following perceptions regarding how their mentor helped them learn about educational leadership:

“99% of what we do is communication and using our communication skills. My mentor focused on always starting with a positive and listening. She helped me to refine my communication skills on all levels- verbally and through emails”

“My mentor gave us scenarios of real situations that occurred at their school and have us work through them”

“I was able to observe my mentor in their school setting and apply what I saw at my own school, especially the modeled behavior of building relationships”

“I was given lots of feedback and advice on problems that I presented to my mentor. She would walk me through how she would handle it and then give me the opportunity to say how I think I should handle it based off of her feedback. It was a very reflective process for problem solving”


The Aspiring Principals found the program to be beneficial from many different aspects, but mostly in the area of support and networking. Many of the focus group participants shared that the mentoring component of the program was most beneficial to their development as educational leaders.