College of Ed, Rockford Public Schools plan announcement of new Leadership Academy

College of Education Dean La Vonne I. Neal
La Vonne I. Neal

The NIU College of Education (COE) and Rockford Public School District 205 will celebrate the opening of the Rockford Leadership Academy during a Wednesday, Jan. 30, kickoff event.

Developed to enhance leadership skills among the district’s 100 principals and assistant principals, the academy is the result of an intensive collaboration between the COE and the district’s leadership.

Both teams worked diligently to help the district identify its priorities and then, on that foundation, the COE developed a customized curriculum to address them.

“The collaborative nature of the project cannot be overemphasized,” said La Vonne Neal, dean of the NIU College of Education.

“Each team – each individual – contributed knowledge, experience and insight that together will help lead the Rockford Leadership Academy and Rockford schools to greater success. This project exemplifies the College of Education’s dedication to providing research-based solutions to school systems in northern Illinois, across the country and around the world.”

The academy fulfills District 205’s needs of developing a results-oriented culture, leadership across diverse cultures and leading organizational change. The arrangement also addresses district priorities in developing instructional leadership in literacy, leading with technology and building leadership capacity.

Rockford Public Schools 205 logoWednesday’s kickoff begins at 4 p.m. at NIU-Rockford, 8500 E. State St. The academy runs 11 weeks, through April 24.

“We’re very proud to be a part of this initiative,” said Terry Borg, director of the COE’s Office of External and Global Programs at NIU. “This is a unique opportunity to support the growth of administrators locally in our public school systems.”

Ehren Jarrett, Rockford Public Schools superintendent-elect, will open up the event with a presentation outlining the professional development strategies, expectations, and goals centered on the academy and the partnership with the College of Education.

Neal will follow with a welcoming presentation, discussing the college’s involvement with the project.

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