CHARLESTON - The West Virginia Center for Professional Development (WVCPD) named 28 West Virginia principals and assistant principals as 2008 Principals' Leadership Academy Distinguished Scholars and honored them during a dinner held Wednesday, September 24, at the Charleston Marriott. These instructional leaders illustrated exemplary participation and work during last year's Principals' Leadership Academy (PLA) for New Principals, and, as a result, they were honored during the PLA dinner where Dr. Stephen Kopp, president of Marshall University, served as keynote speaker.
PLA for New Principals is one of WVCPD's five core programs. Each year new school administrators are required by state code to attend academy sessions in order to strengthen their skills and abilities as school leaders. The Center has implemented an important component to the Academy based on the concept of continuous improvement. Working under the guidance of team leaders and peer support, each PLA principal develops and implements an action research plan that addresses a specific area of his or her school. The plans are important because each ultimately can have a positive impact on student and school performance and achievement.
The action research projects require that participants work in a team environment to provide a research-driven approach to explore and resolve school challenges.
"The Academy allows principals to take time from their hectic schedules and really focus on areas that can bring significant change and progress to their schools," said Dr. Dixie Billheimer, Director of Principal Programs at WVCPD. Since PLA brings principals together three times during the school year, much of the work requires the use of technology such as wikis and other online resources.
"Our goal through this Academy is to help principals understand their role as 21st century instructional leaders and problem solvers," explained Dr. Patricia Kusimo, CEO of WVCPD. "Participants complete the year understanding that creativity and outside-thinking can be significant assets to resolving challenges," Dr. Kusimo said.
The 28 Distinguished Scholars honored received $750 for continued professional development at their schools and an award for their accomplishments. This event was held in conjunction with the first session of PLA for New Principals for the 2008/09 school year.
The year-long Academy consists of three sessions beginning in Charleston on September 24; continuing in December with a meeting at Stonewall Conference Center in Roanoke, W.Va., and concluding in April 2009 in Morgantown. For more information visit www.wvcpd.org or call WVCPD at 304-558-0539.
PLA Distinguished Scholars honored at the dinner were: Brenda Chadwell, Geary Elementary Middle School, Roane County; Joyce Cole, Sand Hill Elementary School, Marshall County; Serena Collins, Milton Elementary School, Cabell County; Lori Comer, Whitethorn Elementary School, Mercer County; Chandra Dalton, Herbert Hoover High School, Kanawha County; Kimberly Enders, Huntington Middle School, Cabell County; Kimberly Freeland, Sand Fork Elementary School, Gilmer County; Richard Gillman, Ralph R. Willis Vocational School, Logan County; Donna Hage, Ritchie County High School, Ritchie County; Scott Hage, Big Elm Elementary School, Harrison County; Valery Harper, George Washington High School, Kanawha County; Mary Hunt, Ripley Elementary School, Jackson County; Chris Ketterly, Alban Elementary School, Kanawha County; Melissa Komorowski, Brooke High School, Brooke County; Craig Lee Loy, Valley (Fayette) High School, Fayette County; Corey Murphy, John Marshall High School, Ohio County; Timothy Pannett, Follansbee Middle School, Brooke County; Joseph Paolo, Weir Middle School, Hancock County; Lori Shumaker, Grafton High School, Taylor County; Tiauna Slack, George Washington Middle School, Putnam County; Ann Smith, White Sulphur Elementary School, Greenbrier County; Dina Smith, Wyoming East High, School, Wyoming County; Bryan Staten, Brushfork Elementary School, Mercer County; Christina Stump, Romney Middle School, Hampshire County; Sue Talbott, Junior Elementary School, Barbour County; Barbara Upton, Evans Elementary School, Jackson County; Stephen Walls, Wyoming East High School, Wyoming County; Raquel Welch, Bridge Street Middle School, Ohio County.