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2009 SUmmer Leadership Institute Highlights

The 2009 Cahn Fellows came together to participate in the Summer Leadership Institute from July 20 to July 31st. We started our learning journey in Washington, DC and brought our new and growing insights back to Teachers College, Columbia University, campus in New York City.





If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.
—Maya Angelou

Week one of the Cahn Fellows Program Summer Leadership Institute was designed to introduce the Fellows to one another through informal and formal conversation about issues leaders are facing at local, state and federal levels that ultimately affect student learning. We visited with policy makers and education leaders that are in the thick of it on their own home turf- Washington DC with the hopes of getting an insiderÕs view of what is being decided and how the decisions are made. At Teachers College we explored the realities and decisions that school leaders face everyday that impact student learning. Fellows had the opportunity to hear, read and discuss what the research says about health disparities, tracking, various forms of inequity and leadership and Fellows were encouraged to analyze leadership decisions, make connections and reflect on their own leadership strengths and areas to work on. By the end of week one, Fellows had a better understanding of how decisions and policies are made and appreciated the responsibility that all leaders must take on in the face of challenge as well as a clearer sense of their own leadership credo, which we built upon in week two.

In week two we explored the notion that effective leaders cannot lead alone. The development of adult leaders in the school building is a critical component of any effective principalÕs leadership. Fellows and Allies learned adult development theory to help them understand how to best support the adults they work with. Throughout the week Fellows also met with leaders from across sectors- business, nonprofit and the arts, to explore challenges faced by other leaders and to discuss root causes and key considerations for strategic solutions.

Cahn Fellows were asked to reflect on and apply the information they learned during Week One and Week Two of the Summer Leadership Institute to develop their own leadership development and mentoring plans and school development project. The topics raised during the Summer Leadership Institute around adult development, leadership, mentoring and inquiry will be built upon over the course of the fellowship in order to meet the Program's learning objectives:

  • To identify and develop Fellow areas of leadership strength and growth
  • To identify and develop Ally areas of leadership strength and growth
  • To improve mentoring capacity of Fellow
  • To progress on school development through use of an inquiry process

Some of the powerful topics and discussions we explored together can be accessed below. We hope that you find them helpful.

Also, you can visit The Wallace Foundation to access information on:

  • the new Wallace Foundation documentary on the principalship
  • the School Administration Manager project (the use of time)
  • and other research related to leadership

On Leadership

'Good leaders are passionate about their work. Through their styles differ, there are many common elements - strong beliefs, integrity, good people skills, thirst for knowledge, and willingness to learn. High energy helps too!' --Cahn Fellow Principal

'Leadership is not so much about the duties you perform as it is about the people you serve.' --Cahn Fellow Principal