Next-level leadership: Preparing assistant principals for campus leadership
The workload of campus leaders continues to increase with new expectations for evaluation and supervision, changing legislative mandates, and mounting pressures for improved school accountability. Educational Leadership preparation programs are built on national and state standards related to principal leadership and competency. However, while principal preparation programs have focused intently on instructional leadership development for future principals, most educational leadership candidates do not immediately enter the principalship but rather start their administrative careers as assistant principals. School districts can implement a comprehensive training protocol for their emerging principals using research-based practices to ensure assistant principals have the training, coaching, and mentoring necessary for the next level of leadership. The professional development strategies presented here can be pivotal in ensuring that individuals are prepared for campus leadership and potentially mitigate principal burnout. Increasing the competencies of assistant principals to prepare them for campus leadership will help support the future of the school district and ensure a pipeline of strong leaders.