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Rodel Exemplary Principal

The logical extension of the Rodel Exemplary Teacher Initiative was the formation of the Exemplary Principal Initiative. Recognizing that an excellent teacher was the main ingredient in student success, Rodel also appreciated the essential and powerful role school leaders play in advancing learning.

…school leaders were equipped to create a caring culture in which all students met high standards.

Using the model of the Exemplary Teacher Initiative, Rodel researched, recognized and celebrated the most effective school leaders in Arizona and enlisted them to deepen the principal bench by mentoring those aspiring to be school leaders. The initiative sought to combine best practices in teaching and learning to ensure school leaders were equipped to create a caring culture in which all students met high standards.

The hallmarks of the effort included:

  • The selection of school leaders who had not only skill and expertise but also the willingness to share and ability to communicate those strengths.
  • The recognition that skills don’t develop in a one-day training; it takes an ongoing commitment to effective practice, allowing time for reflection with opportunities for adjustments and refinement.
  • The acknowledgment that one size doesn’t fit all schools. Leaders were allowed and encouraged to identify and work on the specific needs of their teachers and schools.
  • The emphasis on school leaders as instructional leaders who could monitor and coach effective instruction.
  • The importance of a comprehensive approach which included teachers, instructional coaches and staff so that everyone on site was reinforcing best practices and equally committed to helping students to reach their full potential.
  • The belief that by transforming school culture, leaders could break the cycle of failure in persistently low-performing schools and help good schools become great schools.