The Cahn Fellows Program for Distinguished Principals

Our Mission

The Cahn Fellows Program seeks to improve large urban public school systems nationally by providing distinguished school leaders with advanced professional development and recognition.  Our program is designed to increase leadership skills, retention in education and student outcomes. 

Our History

The Cahn Fellows Program was founded in 2002 as a result of the vision and generosity of Charles & Jane Cahn. The Cahns wanted to do something to recognize excellence in education with the belief that, in recognizing and supporting excellence, we can help an entire system to rise. The Cahn Fellows Program inducted its first cohort of Cahn Fellows into the program in 2003. It is a program that has been specifically designed to support the growth of exemplary school leaders. The Program enables Fellows to become even more effective principals while leveraging their talents to support aspiring school leaders as they choose an Ally who learns alongside them in the yearlong process of growth. 

Our Core Beliefs

1.  School leadership has an enormous impact on student outcomes.

2.  The greatest leverage is with high-performing principals.

3.  Our investment in principals and aspiring leaders increases retention and leadership pipelines.

Our Theory of Action

If the program-

  •   engages principals in a collaborative network of peers
  •   increases their ability to build capacity
  •   improves teacher effectiveness and school culture

then we will both extend the retention of the strongest principals in schools and school systems and develop a pool of future leaders, ultimately elevating student learning and achievement.

Professional Development

The Cahn Fellows Program offers high performing public school principals from large urban school districts the opportunity to participate in a rich learning experience emphasizing intellectual exchange, reflective practice, and measurable results.


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