Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015

Education Graduate Students Get Face Time with Local School Principals

Education Graduate Students Get Face Time with Local School Principals Members of the principal panel assembled at Jackson Middle School are: (L to R): Donna Schultz, Jonathan Williams, John Starr, Michelle Douglas and Sean Wilson

Graduate students from the University of New Orleans attended a panel discussion on Monday, November 2 to hear from school principals across three parishes about their experiences as administrators. The panel, held at Andrew Jackson Middle School in Chalmette, was part of a course entitled “The Principalship,” which is required for the completion of a master’s degree in educational administration at UNO.

UNO Associate Professor Brian Beabout, who teaches the course, has made this an annual event for his graduate students.

“One of the true strengths of UNO’s program is the rich alumni network that our graduates get to interact with and become a part of,” Beabout said. “With the lightning-fast rate of change in Louisiana’s K12 system, it’s vital that our students maximize opportunities to learn from effective, practicing leaders. This panel discussion is one way we do that.”

“It was enlightening to hear these administrators convey their personal stories to us,” said graduate student Tony Morales, who teaches at Chalmette High School. “We gain a tremendous amount of knowledge throughout our master's program, but nothing is more beneficial than putting these skills into real life situations."

“Being able to speak with others in the field was inspiring and helpful,” said Amber Moreland, a teacher at Andrew Jackson Middle School. “The local principals that took part in the discussion panel helped the students better understand the realities that we will soon face as we start new chapters in our lives."

Six panelists from Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes discussed a wide range of real world challenges in education leadership and management:

Michelle Douglas, Hynes Charter School (Orleans)
Patricia Perkins, Morris Jeff Community School (Orleans)
Sean Wilson, International High School of New Orleans (Orleans)
Donna Schultz, Davies Elementary (St. Bernard)
John Starr, Marie Riviere Elementary (Jefferson)
Jonathan Williams, director of leadership and talent management, Center for Development and Learning

“The Principalship” course serves as one of the culminating courses that focuses on the combination of instructional leadership and school management required of effective leaders. The aim of the course is to provide candidates with relevant examples and simulations of a leader's role in various levels of administrative practice.

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