A team led by Kimberly Kappler Hewitt, Ann Davis, Carl Lashley, and Brian Clarida of UNCG’s Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations, has been awarded a $1.8 million principal preparation grant from the NC Alliance for School Leadership Development.

The grant will fund the two-year Principal Preparation for Excellence and Equity in Rural Schools (PPEERS) program, which involves 11 rural districts in North Carolina that struggle to find and keep effective principals for high-needs schools. PPEERS will prepare and license 20 principals through rigorous coursework and a site-based practicum in Year 1, and a 10-month internship with a Mentor Principal at a high-needs school in Year 2.

Partners include Caswell, Chatham, Davidson, Person, Montgomery, Stanley, Randolph, Rockingham, Surry, and Lee counties, and the city of Lexington.

“UNCG is thrilled to partner with 11 area districts to prepare the next generation of outstanding rural school leaders,” Hewitt said. “The collaborative partnership between UNCG, the districts, and the Southern Regional Education Board will prepare 20 of the best and brightest to lead high need rural schools in our region.”

The PPEERS program will cultivate skills that are key for principals in high-needs schools, including instructional leadership, distributive leadership, talent management, and change leadership.

Beginning in the 2017-18 academic year, funds from the grant will be used to provide PPEERS participants with full tuition to the Master of School Administration degree program, as well as salary replacement during the full-time internship. For more information about the program, contact Dr. Kim Kappler Hewitt at kkhewitt@uncg.edu or 336-430-2360.