New Cohort of Top Chicago Principals Selected for Training Program

New Cohort of Top Chicago Principals Selected for Training Program

principal fellowship program

Twenty Chicago principals chosen for second cohort of Northwestern principal development program

For a second year, the Chicago Public Schools Principals Fellowship program at Northwestern will provide leadership training and executive coaching to top principals from Chicago public schools. The Chicago Public Education Fund recently announced its support for the second cohort of 20 principals selected for the program.

The Chicago Principals Fellowship program is designed and delivered by the Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy and Kellogg School of Management. Through this three-year program, Northwestern University faculty provide leadership training and executive coaching to 60 talented educators from Chicago Public Schools.

The Fellowship is a rigorous, yearlong professional development program designed to support and retain the best public school principals citywide. It is made possible with support from The Fund and the Crown Family.

Intended to challenge and invigorate already high-performing principals, the program uses cutting-edge leadership development techniques, said SESP professor James Spillane, a key architect of the program. Spillane’s research over the past decade on distributed leadership serves as a central theme in the program.

The program is unique because Northwestern faculty provide academic training and a 360-degree assessment, which involves receiving performance feedback from a variety of coworkers. The fellows also receive group and individual coaching from Northwestern experts. In return for one year of development training, the fellows commit to staying in leadership roles at Chicago Public Schools for the next three years. 

The collaboration between the schools of business and education was natural, SESP dean Penelope Peterson noted. “Both programs work to train effective leaders and inspire personal growth.” In addition to Spillane and Peterson, the program was also designed by Liz Livingston Howard, director of Kellogg’s Nonprofit Management Executive Education programs, and Jane Hoffman, assistant director of nonprofit executive education at Kellogg.

The 2015-16 Principal Fellowship cohort will include 20 principals from across Chicago; 41 principals total have participated in the first two years of the program. Fellows were selected by a panel of Chicago Public Schools leaders after an open application process that attracted nearly 60 candidates.

“High-quality professional development opportunities for principals support their ability to confidently remain in that role for an extended period of time, contributing to their ability to work with teachers, parents and the community to transform and accelerate student learning,” said Howard.

“World-class public schools require great educators. We’re interested in retaining more of Chicago’s best public school principals by providing what many are asking for: differentiated professional development opportunities that help them continue to grow professionally in the leadership of their schools, teachers and students,” said Heather Anichini, president and CEO of The Chicago Public Education Fund.

The Chicago Public Education Fund is a nonprofit organization working to increase public school quality in Chicago by supporting talented principals and enabling effective educator teams to reinvent classroom learning.

By Northwestern University and Chicago Public Education Fund
Last Modified: 9/3/15