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School leaders complete academy

A team of educators from Isle of Wight County Schools recently completed EdLeader21’s 4Cs Leadership Academy, an intensive, year-long program designed to deepen the capacity of district and school leaders to advance 21st-century learning opportunities for all students — with a focus on helping students master competencies such as the 4Cs (communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity).

Throughout the year, teams engaged in collaborative project-based learning experiences to design and implement solutions to a specific 4Cs problem of practice in their school or district, while also exploring best practices in 21st-century education leadership. The Leadership Academy program included three face-to-face events with other district leaders from across the country as well as virtual coaching sessions and training.

“Teams in the 4Cs Leadership Academy are tackling the most pressing challenge in education today — how can we effectively transform teaching and learning to prepare all students for success in college, career, life and citizenship?” said Valerie Greenhill, president of EdLeader21. “The Academy helps strengthen leadership skills among educators leading this kind of change.”

On April 10-11, leadership teams from Georgie Tyler Middle School, Windsor Elementary School, Westside Elementary School and Windsor High School joined other teams from school systems nationwide in Columbus, Ohio to present their work to a panel of national education experts — including Tony Wagner, senior research fellow at the Learning Policy Institute and author of “Creating Innovators” and “Most Likely to Succeed”; Karen Aka, lead facilitator at One Shared Future; and Mike Duncan, superintendent of Pike County Schools. Participants also engaged in professional learning focused on equity and leading 21st-century district transformation. Videos of the presentations can be found on the division’s webpage at www.iwcs.k12.va.us/apps/video.

The participants from Windsor Elementary were Principal Ellen Couch, Assistant Principal Erin Luck, Instructional Coach Lisa Meier and classroom teacher Julie Branch. From Windsor High, participants included Principal Laura Sullivan, Assistant Principal Dawn Carroll, Instructional Coach Tracy Ferguson and classroom teacher Cassie Presson. Westside Elementary participants included Principal Dr. Marsha Cale, Assistant Principal Jason Wheeler, Instructional Coach Michelle Pealo and classroom teacher Robin Gafa. Georgie Tyler Middle’s team consisted of Principal Jessica Harding, Assistant Principal Kristen Wilkins and classroom teacher Ashleigh Hazel.