Building the bench: developing the leadership capacity of assistant principals

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jerad J. Crave (Creator)
Katie C. Elliott (Creator)
Andrea E. Russell (Creator)
Michael E. Swan (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Robert Crow

Abstract: Our disquisition is founded in both the leadership literature and empirical data from four North Carolina school districts. Our work and the literature suggest that support is needed for assistant principals to develop their leadership capacity and prepare them for the principalship (Chan, Webb, & Bowen, 2003; Leithwood, Louis, Anderson, & Wahlstrom, 2004). We utilized improvement science methods to identify a problem of practice to be addressed with an improvement initiative (Bryk, Gomez, Grunow, LeMaheiu, 2016). Our improvement initiative was employed through a combined framework of succession planning (Lynn, 2001; Peters, 2011) and social justice leadership theory (Theoharis, 2007; 2009). Called the Assistant Principal Professional Leadership Experience (APPLE), our implementation consisted of three components including an orientation session, monthly professional development sessions, and shadowing experiences. Utilizing a PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) approach, we collected data throughout the initiative to make decisions. Using both qualitative (interviews, focus groups)and quantitative instruments (surveys), we analyzed the pre-initiative and post-initiative data to find statistically significant growth in several leadership areas, including: equity, student assessment, teacher evaluation, teacher remediation, data-driven decision making, studentdecision making, and school safety. The data showed mean increases in assistant principalcreated goals as well as increases in the pre- and post-measurements of the North CarolinaStandards for School Executives. The qualitative and quantitative shadowing data showed positive findings that acknowledged the success of the experience.Keywords: leadership, assistant principals, administrator support, shadowing, professional development, orientation, succession planning model, social justice leadership

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
administrator support, assistant principals, leadership, shadowing, social justice, succession planning
Teacher-administrator relationships
School districts -- North Carolina
Assistant school principals
Social justice
Educational leadership

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