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PR- 217-04
August 05, 2004


77 New Public School Principals to Begin Assignments in September

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Chancellor Joel I. Klein and NYC Leadership Academy CEO Robert E. Knowling, Jr., today celebrated the graduation of the first class of aspiring principals, a group of dedicated and capable leaders critical to the turnaround of New York City’s public schools.  The 77 graduates will begin their first assignments as principals in September.  Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, Time Warner Chairman and CEO Richard Parsons, Baruch College President Dr. Kathleen Waldron, and NYC Leadership Academy Academic Dean Sandra Stein joined the Mayor and Chancellor at the graduation ceremony held at Baruch College.

“Any successful organization has to have great leadership,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Last year we launched the Leadership Academy to provide principals with the skills they need to make a real difference in our schools.  For the past 14 months, these dedicated individuals trained with some of the school system’s best principals to help them become innovative and effective leaders in our schools.  I congratulate them and wish them the best this September as they begin some of the most important work in our City.”

“Effective school leadership is the cornerstone of our Children First reforms,” Chancellor Klein said.  “All parents want a great school for their children and know that an effective principal sets the tone for the entire school.  Our goal for the Leadership Academy is to attract, support, and install the very best principals to make sure that each of our schools is a school that all of our parents are proud to have their children attend.”

“This event marks the culmination of a long and intense learning process for the graduates,” said Robert Knowling. “The Academy staff is pleased to provide this special recognition ceremony to honor these new principals.”

In graduating from the Aspiring Principals Program, these 77 men and women completed a rigorous 14-month leadership development program that prepares future principals to serve as effective leaders in the City’s public schools.  The Aspiring Principals attended two intensive summer sessions and participated in a residency during the academic year in a New York City public school under the guidance of an experienced mentor principal.  The new principals will begin their assignments in public schools throughout the City next month.  

The program’s first class is a diverse group of principals.  More than half of the new principals are African-American, Latino, or Asian, and two-thirds are women.  They range in age from 26 to 59 and the average age is 40.  Approximately half of the new principals have supervisory experience in the public school system, as assistant principals, coordinators, or supervisors in specialty areas, and about half have experience as classroom teachers, staff developers, guidance counselors, or in other pedagogical roles.

The NYC Leadership Academy, an independent 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation funded by corporate and philanthropic giving, is a cornerstone of Chancellor Klein’s reform initiatives, which are based on the importance of strong leadership and accountability at the school level. The NYC Leadership Academy has received generous support from the Partnership for New York City, leading foundations, including The Wallace Foundation, The Broad Foundation, The Annenberg Foundation, and The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation, and prominent companies and individuals in the business community.

The NYC Leadership Academy was launched in July 2003, and uses problem-based, experiential learning and providing candidates with strong leadership training. In addition to the Aspiring Principals Program, the NYC Leadership Academy provides leadership development programs for new and existing principals.  The New Principal On-Board Program (“NPOBP”) provides leadership development to newly appointed principals and principals hired from outside of the system to help these individuals adjust to their role as school leaders.  In July, the NYC Leadership Academy welcomed its second class of NPOBP candidates, who will receive continuing leadership development throughout the school year. 

The Principal Leadership Development Program, which began in October 2003, focuses on developing incumbent principals to lead their schools effectively and provides them with leadership development during the summer and throughout the academic year. Over the past year, the NYC Leadership Academy provided all of the principals in the City’s public school system with professional development programs.


Edward Skyler / Robert Lawson   (212) 788-2958


Jerry Russo   (DOE)
(212) 374-5141

Suluh Lukoskie (NYC Leadership Academy)   (212) 374-0560

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