School leadership program yields 14 graduates
By Kesha Williams
Elizabeth City State University reached another milestone December 12 when 14 students received their Master of School Administration (MSA) degree. They were participants in the Northeastern North Carolina School Leadership Program (NNCSLP), a joint endeavor between the university and nine area school districts: Bertie, Edenton/Chowan, Edgecombe, Elizabeth City-Pasquotank, Northampton, Perquimans, Warren, Washington and Weldon City. A 2.9 million grant from the U. S. Department of Education (2009) funded the program that was designed to increase the number of new certified principals and assistant principals to serve high-need schools.
The majority of the program participators began as teachers but many have advanced to become school administrators (assistant principals, principals or director of instructional specialist, instructional facilitator.) These master’s degree graduates attended classes for a maximum of two years and summer retreats. Some of them attended nationally recognized, leadership conferences for educators and some served as presenters.
Fifty-two people have already earned their MSA degrees through this federally funded program. Those people participated in commencement ceremonies held over the last four years. The participating school districts benefit when these educators return to their schools with updated skills and knowledge that improve the quality of instruction offered there. The funds for this grant have been exhausted so these MSA graduates are the last to benefit from the NNCSLP
The grant also awarded $665,787.40 to the nine participating school districts who submitted acceptable Problem-Based Learning Initiative applications which are designed to address their overall school improvement plans. An advisory council comprised of ECSU faculty and staff and area school superintendents provided guidance for the NNCSLP. Dr. Claudie Mackey, a professor in the ECSU Department of Education and Psychology, served as program director, Yvonne Walton served as program coordinator; Dr. Shirley Turnage, program evaluator; Jeanie Billups served as administrative assistant. Several retired principals, many former Wachovia/Wells Fargo Principals of the Year honorees, served as mentors.
Fourteen graduate students received their MSA at ECSU’s December 12 commencement.
Photo caption: seated left to right: Kendra Davis, Gwendolyn Barnes, Kimberly Whitehurst, Dr. Saundra Copeland, an ECSU associate professor, Anissa Robinson and Tammy Miller-White.
Back Row: Bryce Marquis, Janice Moody, Cedric Gerald, Thomas McGeachy, Alisa Buchanan, Kelly Cowell, Julie Roberts and John Peel.
Not pictured is Leondas Hendricks