Principal Supervisor Webinar Series

NYCLA’s series of webinars on principal supervision is focused on continuing a national conversation around strengthening principal supervision and support. Intended for district, state or charter leaders and system-level practitioners, these interactive sessions feature educational thought leaders and practitioners from across the country. Each session is aligned to one of NYCLA's Principal Supervisor Leadership Standards, which undergird what a principal supervisor should know and be able to do. 

Previous webinars include:

  • The Strategic Principal Supervisor 
  • Navigating the Tension between Instructional Coaching and Leadership Coaching 
  • Leading for Equity & Access: Implications of ESSA
  • Making the Most of Meeting Time with Principals
  • Building a Culture of Learning in Leadership
  • Building a Culture of Racial Equity

The Strategic Principal Supervisor

Standard 6: Drive and sustain strategic change.

This webinar welcomed expert guests Dr. Eva Mejia, director of network initiation and development for the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and Dr. Michele Shannon, Chief of Schools for Boston Public Schools. Together we delved into these guiding questions:

  • How do principal supervisors maintain a strategic focus and look at the big picture as they engage in the work?
  • How do principal supervisors both model this strategic focus in their own role and help principals to be strategic in their roles?
  • How can principal supervisors ensure that they spend their time constructively, rather than spending every day putting out fires and being reactive to emergencies?

Dr. Michele Elyse Shannon has spent her life dedicated to public education as a lever for equity. She served as a teacher, school social worker, assistant principal, and principal in the New York City Department of Education. She founded Pathways College Preparatory School in New York City. Michele was the senior director of administrator development for Los Angeles Unified School District. She is a coach and teacher at the Data Wise Project at Harvard and on the faculty of the Summer Principals Academy at Teacher’s College. Michele is the founder and principal consultant for Measure Excellence Consulting, LLC, an organization committed to supporting leaders, schools and districts in their efforts to engage in continuous learning and improvement. Presently, Michele is the Chief of Schools for Boston Public Schools.

Michele is a product of the New York City public education system from kindergarten through college. She received her B.S. in Sociology from Bernard Baruch College, MSW from Hunter College, and an advanced certificate in School Leadership from the NYC Leadership Academy. Michele received a doctorate in Educational Leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2013 and most recently received an advanced certificate in School District Leadership from Queens College, CUNY. She lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. 

Dr. Eva Mejia is director of network initiation and development for the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. In this capacity, she leads partnerships with organizations that are launching Networked Improvement Communities and designs processes to accelerate learning and build capacity among practitioners. Eva has worked on improvement efforts in several roles prior to coming to Carnegie. She served as an Improvement Coach for the Data Wise Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and as a consultant helping community colleges and universities use data to inform their student success programing. Eva began her career as a Family Advocate (social worker) for the Chula Vista Community Collaborative’s Family Resource Centers. She also coordinated parent involvement, mentorship, and tutoring programs that included over 1,200 volunteers at The Preuss School UCSD, a nationally recognized charter school for first generation low-income students. Eva holds an Education Leadership Doctorate (Ed.L.D.) from HGSE, as well as a B.A. in psychology, and an M.A. in sociology from Stanford University. She is proud to be from the Tijuana - San Diego border region.

Navigating the Tension between Instructional Coaching & Leadership Coaching

Aligned with Principal Supervisor Standard 1.1c: Understand the difference and intersections between a principal’s leadership ability
and a principal’s ability to lead instruction
, this webinar engaged participants 

We welcomed guests from Fort Wayne Community Schools: Dr. Wendy Robinson, superintendent, and John Key, Director for Elementary Education. The conversation was facilitated by NYCLA’s own Dr. Francis Yasharian, who is currently providing executive coaching services to the Fort Wayne team. Together we delved into these guiding questions:

  • What do instructional coaching and leadership coaching look like when working with principals?
  • How does the principal supervisor manage the tension between these two types of coaching?
  • How does a principal supervisor differentiate coaching for the different learning needs of principals?

Dr. Wendy Robinson is the superintendent of Fort Wayne Community Schools (FWCS). One of the largest school districts in Indiana, FWCS is an urban district comprising 50 schools and nearly 30,000 students. Our students speak nearly 80 languages and nearly 70 percent of students qualifying for free or reduced-price meals. Dr. Robinson was named Superintendent of FWCS in 2003 after serving as a teacher, principal and central office administrator. She is a tireless advocate of public education and in her four decades in public education has developed close working relationships with some of the most prestigious educational organizations in the country. Dr. Robinson was honored as a Leader to Learn From by Education Week in 2016, is a member of the Redesign PD Partnership and was one of the members of the inaugural class of Broad Center Fellows. She was the recipient of the 2009 Joseph E. Hill Superintendent of the Year Award from the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) and has been awarded numerous other state and local awards. She has presented at state and national conferences on a variety of topics from the importance of working closely with the School Board to sharing the FWCS success story. Dr. Robinson is also an active member of the community, forming partnerships with state and local agencies and businesses and serving on several state and local boards, including Greater Fort Wayne Inc. and Parkview Hospital. 

John Key is an Elementary Director with Fort Wayne Community Schools. He has been with FWCS since 1994, beginning as a teacher at Forest Park Elementary and later moving to St. Joseph Central Elementary. During the 2005-06 school year, he worked as an administrative intern at Brentwood Elementary. He became the assistant principal at Forest Park in 2006 and was named principal of Pleasant Center Elementary in 2007. From 2009 to 2011, he was principal at Weisser Park Elementary School. He was named Elementary Director in 2011 and now works directly with elementary principals.

Leading for Equity and Access: Implications of ESSA

Aligned to NYCLA's Principal Supervisor Standard 5.3: Promote productive dialogue and collective work on equity with an emphasis on race, this webinar engaged participants in a dialogue on what it means to lead for equity, how principal supervisors and other district leaders create the conditions and structures for focused work around equity, and what role ESSA funding plays in moving this work forward.

The session featured the following expert guests:

  • Dr. Edward Fergus, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at NYU
  • Marc Etienne, Instructional Leadership Executive Director for Baltimore City Schools

Making the Most of Meeting Time with Principals

Aligned to NYCLA's Principal Supervisor Leadership Standard #2: Develop Learning-Rich Communities of Practice, "Making the Most of Meeting Time with Principals" engaged participants in a discussion on how to leverage meetings with principals to maximize organizational learning. 

This session featured the following expert guests:

  • Dr. Kathryn Boudett, co-author of the book "Meeting Wise: Making the Most of Collaborative Time for Educators"
  • Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed, Associate Superintendent, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District 


Building a Culture of Learning in Leadership

 Aligned to NYCLA's Principal Supervisor Leadership Standard #3: Balance Coaching with Evaluation, "Building a Culture of Learning in Leadership" addressed the popular topic of balancing high-quality support with high-quality accountability by creating relationships of ongoing feedback and trust with principals. The webinar also outlined the differences between leadership coaching and instructional coaching.

This session featured the following expert guests:

  • Dr. Richard Elmore, Gregory R. Anrig Research Professor of Educational Leadership, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Clay Hunter, Executive Director for Elementary Schools, Gwinnett County Public Schools


Building a Culture of Racial Equity

Aligned to NYCLA's Principal Supervisor Leadership Standard #5: Cultivate Principals' Cultural & Political Responsiveness, "Building a Culture of Racial Equity" engaged participants in a discussion about creating the conditions and structures necessary for focused work around racial equity across districts and within schools. The webinar highlighted the leadership and commitment of Superintendent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez and Hartford Public Schools as they have used equity to approach the district's mission to “inspire and prepare ALL students to create their own success in and beyond school.”

This session featured the following expert guests:

  • Dr. Gislaine Ngounou, Chief of Staff, Hartford Public Schools
  • Dr. Catherine Carbone, Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Leadership, Hartford Public Schools 


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