New Fellowship Program Seek To Increase Diverse Educational Leaders in Commonwealth

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BOSTON – With one in five principals leaving their jobs every year and novice leaders leaving the field at a much more frequent rate, the Barr Foundation and Springpoint, two nonprofits focused on re-imagining the high school experience, started a new fellowship program called Transformative Leaders Massachusetts.

The goal is to build a diverse leadership pipeline of leaders committed to creating an innovative and effective high school experience all young people, especially the most underserved. The first cohort of middle school and high school educators is invited to apply for the program which begins summer 2022. The deadline is April 18.

As fellows, educators will participate in a two-year school design and leadership program that will build their leadership capacity and instructional experience so they can become innovative leaders and change agents in their schools and communities. The aim is to attract diverse educators who are motivated by ensuring schools are student-centered environments.

“Building a pipeline of visionary educators who want to lead high schools with new purpose and ingenuity is our goal,” said Leah Hamilton, Director of Education for the Barr Foundation. “We know many schools are struggling to retain talented, diverse teaching staff so we aim to help inspire, develop, and train a deeper bench of educational leaders in our state as we all work to make high schools vigorous places of learning.”

After years of research on the problem, Springpoint Executive Director Elina Alayeva said: “Research tells us that school leaders are a key lever for improving high school experience and outcomes for all students as well as supporting and retaining quality staff. School leaders can serve as multipliers – increasing the efficacy of a teaching staff and impacting an entire school rather than a fixed number of students they teach.  Yet despite the critical importance of school leadership, principals are not prepared or supported to create the high school experience and outcomes that all students deserve. Effective and innovative leaders are not born – they are nurtured.”

Participants in the Transformative Leaders Massachusetts program will:

  • Earn a stipend of $20,000 over two years in addition to current salaries
  • Have support to earn Massachusetts school leader licensure through the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education alternative certification apprenticeship pathway
  • Have a dedicated mentor at their current school and an experienced Springpoint coach
  • Engage with a small, diverse cohort of aspiring school leaders
  • Expand their professional networks
  • Work with a flexible class schedule of weekends, nights, and days off
  • Join school visits across the state to see transformational programs in action

For more information or to apply for the fellowship, visit springpointschools.org/fellowship or email: fellowship@springpointschools.org. Applications will be open through April 18.

The Barr Foundation’s mission is to invest in human, natural, and creative potential, serving as thoughtful stewards and catalysts. Based in Boston, Barr focuses regionally, and selectively engages nationally, working in partnership with nonprofits, foundations, the public sector, and civic and business leaders to elevate the arts, advance solutions for climate change, and connect all students to success in high school and beyond.

Springpoint is a national nonprofit organization with deep expertise in building the capacity of leaders and communities to design innovative high schools. Over the last decade, Springpoint has supported school districts and networks around the country to reimagine high schools and their surrounding ecosystems to ensure every young person, regardless of environment or background, can thrive in high school and beyond.

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