GREENSBORO, NC — The Wallace Foundation recently announced a $102 million grant initiative to support eight large school districts around the country in building principal pipelines that can produce school leaders capable of advancing their own district’s vision of equity. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools (WSFCS) is one of the eight districts chosen to be part of this Equity-Centered Pipeline Initiative, and WSFCS will collaborate with the UNCG School of Education as a vital member of its District Partnership Team for the grant. Dr. Brian Clarida, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations (ELC), is Lead Investigator for UNCG.
With support from the Wallace Foundation, the eight District Partnership Teams will design a comprehensive, aligned equity-centered pipeline that translates each district’s vision into reality, provide mentoring and training for current principals and assistant principals, and engage in continuous improvement. Assuming they are successfully renewed each year, each of the District Partnership Teams will receive grants from Wallace Foundation totaling $8.2 million over five years.
WSFCS approached Dr. Clarida to partner with them on the Wallace Equity-Centered Principal Pipeline Initiative because of his success with the new Assistant Principal Leadership Academy (APLA). In Spring 2020, Dr. Clarida and Dr. Donna Peters began discussions with WSFCS regarding establishing an “Assistant Principal Leadership Academy,” which WSFCS intended to be part of a broader effort to help grow and develop its principal pipeline. ELC subsequently received a grant from WSFCS to establish and execute the APLA, for which Dr. Clarida served as Lead Investigator.
The APLA launched in January 2021, and its project goals were to develop participants’ potential as educational leaders focused on equity and excellence; foster participants’ capacities as assistant principals who make vital leadership and managerial contributions to their current schools; and prepare participants for potential transition into the principalship. Notably, the APLA relied heavily on the involvement of ELC faculty in delivering content related to their areas of scholarly expertise. The project has been a huge success, leading Dr. Clarida to become involved in the Wallace Foundation funded Equity-Centered Principal Pipeline Initiative.
“I believe that it is important for us as educational leaders to seek partnerships that will continue to help our Principal Preparation students be well-equipped for the work that they will be charged with doing upon graduating,” Dr. Clarida said. “We have an obligation to our graduates to make sure that they are prepared for the leadership tasks ahead. Preparing future leaders is something that is personal to me.”
Learn more in the Wallace Foundation’s announcement here.