8 area principals participating in new leadership academy


Eight area principals are participating in the Principal Leadership Academy. Pictured left to right are: Robin Netherton (Vinemont High School), John Hood (Good Hope High School), Mike Jones (West Point Intermediate School), Kevin Sullins (Harmony School), Tonya Cupp (Good Hope Primary School) and Vicky Johnson (Cold Springs Elementary School). Not pictured: Alan Dunkling (Good Hope Middle School) and Kim Hall (Cullman High School) / Photo courtesy of Shane Barnette

CULLMAN –  Eight area principals are participating in a new program called the Principal Leadership Academy (PLA). The program is a part of the Principally Speaking Network (PSN), from The Schools Foundation, a nonprofit education advocacy organization based in Huntsville. The Network is, according to the Foundation, “a professional development program for school administrators designed to assist participants in increasing student achievement through more effective leadership practices.”

According to Cullman County Schools Superintendent Shane Barnette, Dr. Ed Nichols is heading up the Academy. Barnette said superintendents of school districts in Cullman’s PSN area were invited to nominate principals in their first three years of school leadership to participate in the Academy. He said participants attend four sessions throughout the school year and learn about issues relevant to their schools and their communities.

The 2017-2018 class includes 35 principals from eight school districts across north Alabama.

From Cullman County Schools, Principals Robin Netherton (Vinemont High School), John Hood (Good Hope High School), Mike Jones (West Point Intermediate School), Kevin Sullins (Harmony School), Tonya Cupp (Good Hope Primary School), Vicky Johnson (Cold Springs Elementary School) and Alan Dunkling (Good Hope Middle School) are participating.

From Cullman City Schools, Kim Hall (Cullman High School) is participating.

The Academy’s first session was held at Calhoun Community College’s Huntsville campus on Oct. 24, 2017, where Barnette said participants learned about thinking styles and ways to modify their behaviors to deal with thinking styles that are different from their own.

The next PLA session will take place on Dec. 12 and will be hosted by Toyota.

“We are excited about another great day of learning and networking,” Barnette said in a media release.

“I am so proud of all of our administrators in Cullman County.  They are some of the most dedicated and hard-working educators in our state. I am excited that the seven principals that have been hired over the last two years are able to participate in the Principal Leadership Academy.  Everything that The Schools Foundation facilitates is top notch!  This group of principals (is) already highly effective, but I fully expect this networking opportunity to continue to help them grow professionally.”

Cullman City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Susan Patterson, shared, ““Mrs. Hall has exhibited strong leadership as CHS principal over the last 18 months. Her participation in the Principal Leadership Academy demonstrates her commitment to continuous learning. Outstanding school principals must have a strong support network beyond their campus and this program provides that, along with the advanced training. I am looking forward to the many great things CHS will accomplish with Mrs. Hall as principal.”

Find out more about The Schools Foundation’s Principally Speaking Network at http://qrne.ws/psn.

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