It’s not hard to understand why principals in New York City continue to enlist NYCLA’s direct services coaching support, when nearly all coached principals who responded to our 2013-14 end-of-school-year survey – 97 percent – said that NYCLA coaching enhanced their leadership practice. But what keeps the coaches, all of whom retired from successful careers as school administrators, coming back?

For some coaches, that answer becomes clear in the early hours of the morning.

It was barely 5 a.m. when a ringing phone woke one NYCLA coach who has been with the organization for eight years. On the other end of the phone line, the coach heard a frantic first-year principal, seeking guidance as she faced a seemingly insurmountable obstacle.

Coach and coachee discussed options, weighed risks, and drew up plans.

Just six hours later, the coach arrived at that principal’s school for a regularly scheduled visit. Instead of the harried person he had heard on the phone, he saw a smiling, confident principal who had confronted, examined and overcome a crisis, all before noontime.

“Once again,” the coach said, in recounting the story for colleagues, “I remembered why our work is so important.”

Our 29 direct service coaches, who bring an average of 32 years of experience in the New York City Department of Education and an average of over seven years at NYCLA, work around-the-clock to support their principals, whether that means analyzing school data on a Sunday, attending DOE meetings on a vacation day, or picking up their BlackBerry before the sun has come up. Many say that coaching is the toughest job they have ever had – and these are people who have been teachers, principals, and superintendents in some of New York City’s highest needs schools. This commitment is evidenced not only by our coaches, but by the hundreds of coaches we’ve partnered with and trained nationwide.  The work is well worth it when we see leaders reach their full potential and students succeed, proof that our coaching model is a highly effective tool in creating sustainable transformations of schools throughout the country.


NYCLA understands that effective programs must be responsive to the local context and needs of the schools, districts and clients it serves.  As a result, our consultants are dedicated to providing customizable services that achieve tangible results for leaders and ultimately for their students.

For more information on:

  • direct coaching services offered in NYC, CLICK HERE
  • face-to-face and online resources for building and strengthening coaching programs, CLICK HERE.