25% of a student’s educational success relies on the quality of the educational leadership of the school administrator. This means that the school principal is the second most important school influence on student success, after high quality teaching.
Great school leaders create a culture of excellence, drive school performance, teacher retention and student outcomes. The partners of LAUNCH Flagstaff recognize the critical need for executive leadership development coupled with the building of collaborative, collegial relationships among educational leaders across the community.
This is why LAUNCH Flagstaff partnered with the Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) in 2017 to bring their educational executive leadership training to Flagstaff. The Beat the Odds School Leadership Academy (BTO) is a nationally researched, evidence-based program that is delivered locally over 12-15 months.
Through the process of developing the Flagstaff cohort, LAUNCH Flagstaff helped facilitate an agreement between Northern Arizona University and CFA for granting 6 graduate credits toward a Master’s Degree in Education and Administration Certification or toward a Doctorate in Education and Superintendent Certification after completing the BTO. While this agreement will certainly benefit the Flagstaff cohort, other cohorts of leaders from across Arizona will also benefit as a result of our work.
The first Flagstaff cohort of educational leaders from district, charter, county, and higher education schools started the program in June 2019.
Here is what some of them have had to say:
It is exciting to be receiving the tools of change in this program with the collaboration of an amazing cohort of school leaders. The knowledge and skill brought together by this this diverse leadership cohort along with the NISL course allows for rich discussions and learning, which I feel will lead to a shared vision that will benefit all children in the Flagstaff area.
Tracy Braatz, Director
The PEAK School
The BTO academy has provided the CCESA with the foundation for questioning the status quo in education systems and current professional development models for educators. If we are asking our educational leaders and teachers to be strategic and apply the science behind learning, it starts with professional development and coaching that systemically models the science behind learning.
Cheryl Mango-Paget, Associate Superintendent of Schools
I am looking forward to increased connections and relationships with other leaders in Flagstaff, to developing my own leadership capacity and to be on the journey with Mountain School’s principal so that we can lead even more effectively as a team.
Vanessa Fitz-Kesler, Executive Director