Dr. Brian Clarida, clinical associate professor in the Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations (ELC) Department, received new funding from Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools to launch the Assistant Principal Leadership Academy (APLA) project.
The purpose of the Leadership Academy is to develop participants’ capacities as assistant principals who make vital leadership and managerial contributions to their current schools, and to prepare participants for potential transition into the principalship.
Learn more about the project and Dr. Clarida’s hopes for the future of the academy in this Q&A.
When did the Assistant Principal Leadership Academy come to fruition?
Dr. Clarida: After several discussions with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, we were chosen to provide the support that they were seeking for their assistant principals. The project started in January 2021, and we are proud to partner with local school districts to provide services.
What is your educational background and how has it helped you develop this program?
Dr. Clarida: I served in many different leadership roles before coming to UNC Greensboro. One of those roles was as a school principal in two different districts, and I have worked in both rural and urban school districts. In my current role at UNCG, I primarily train individuals to become school administrators through ELC’s Masters in School Administration and Post Masters Certificate in School Administration programs. My experiences from both being a principal and now training others has provided me the necessary training to work with others on their journey to becoming school leaders.
What does your role in the APLA entail, and are there others involved in the project as well?
Dr. Clarida: I am a co-leader on the project, and Donna Peters is the other co-leader on the project. I am really excited that six of our ELC faculty members have agreed to present sessions for the participants. Donna and I plan and lead each session with ELC faculty and other presenters joining us to present topics related to their expertise.
What kind of preparation do participants receive throughout the program?
Dr. Clarida: The participants are exposed to many different learning modules during the program. In some sessions we discuss leadership versus management; fostering relational culture; crucial conversations; culturally responsive leadership; understanding race, equity, and education; and transitioning into the principalship.
What do you hope the future of the program looks like?
Dr. Clarida: Our goal is to provide other services to districts across the state on best practices when preparing school leaders to take over the principalship. We hope to continue this relationship with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Dr. Clarida: Providing training opportunities for school leaders provides me an opportunity to feel that I am paying it forward. It is my firm belief that we all had mentors during our journeys to achieve our personal level of success and that we must be willing to provide the same opportunities to others.