Principals as Transformation Leaders: Changing Roles and Responsibilities

Thursday, October 12, 3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT

The roles and responsibilities of a principal are changing drastically in any typical day. Explore these changes and how they impact the day-to-day work of a principal in this free webinar, the first in a series supported by The Wallace Foundation. Panelists will also provide proactive ways to support new principals in this challenging and ever-changing role.

This webinar will include time for Q&A. It will also be recorded and archived for future reference.


Rhonda Richer, consultant and longtime principal – Richer has been an educator for 36 years. She began her career as an elementary and middle school teacher before becoming an elementary principal, a role in which she served for 25 years in a variety of PK-5 settings. Following her retirement in 2012, Richer initiated a Parents As Teachers Program to provide parent education and home visits to parents of children from birth to 5 years of age. She continues to mentor principals and teacher new to the profession. She also provides consultation and interim leadership for schools in need.

Michael Jones, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Littleton Public Schools (CO) – Jones is beginning his 32nd year in public education, during which his roles have included elementary principal, human resources director, and assistant superintendent. Known for leading schools in a collaborative manner that helps students achieve their highest potential, Jones has been recognized by People Magazine, Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul, and several media outlets for innovative programs that involved children, parents, and teachers. In his current role, he assists school and district leadership as they navigate the instructional, personnel, and political issues that they face on daily basis.

Rob Reetz, Principal, Chippewa Middle School (MN) – Reetz is in his 3rd year as principal at Chippewa Middle School, which is located 10 miles north of Minneapolis/St. Paul. His yearlong preparation for the principalship came with a challenge to develop a vision for learning centered on science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math (STEAM). In response, Reetz articulated a plan focused on igniting students' aspirations, not by increasing engagement, but by tearing the ceiling off it. By identifying and partnering with key teacher leaders, Reetz empowered others to turn vision into action. The results 2 years later are an instructional model centered on problem- and product-based learning. Utilizing the iterative process of Design Thinking, 1,100 students in grades 6-8 are creating products and solutions using a variety of exciting new tools including laser cutters, blade cutters, 3D printers, video drones, and 360-degree virtual reality cameras. Chippewa has adopted 10 key interdisciplinary learning outcomes and has embraced frequent student-led learning experiences that offer students input on what is learned, how learning is demonstrated, a timeline for the learning, and with whom students may collaborate. Reetz and teacher leaders also created and implemented a "positive performance intervention system" that would develop and recognize students for demonstrating key habits of mind. Known as “iCREATE,” the system captures the habits students develop over their 3 years at Chippewa: effective Collaboration, frequent Reflection, remaining Engaged, Advocacy for what they need, flexible and optimistic Thinking, and Exploration.


Wendy Fothergill, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Principal Licensure, Colorado State University
Donna Cooner, Professor, Colorado State University


Location: Webinar

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