NYC Leadership Academy

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Coaching can be an integral component of professional learning and support for principals. The NYC Leadership Academy has coached more than 1,700 New York City public school principals and helped more than 20 district, state, and university-based programs strengthen ...

Taking Charge of Principal Preparation: A Guide to the NYC Leadership Academy's Aspiring Principals Program

With the support of The Wallace Foundation, NYCLA is pleased to share this new resource for those interested in developing and/or strengthening a principal preparation program. The guide shares insight into the design and delivery of NYCLA’s Aspiring Principals Program, which has prepared m...

Ready to Lead: Designing Residencies for Better Principal Preparation

The NYC Leadership Academy, in partnership with the American Institutes for Research (AIR), has published “Ready to Lead: Designing Residencies for Better Principal Preparation.” The guide provides insight, synthesized from leading principal preparation prog...

Frequently Asked Questions
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NYC Leadership Academy
NYC Leadership Academy

NYCLA has experience and expertise in leadership development. Our work is stimulating and challenging, structured yet innovative. Our staff members have a collaborative spirit and are flexible and responsive to their work. If you too are motivated to change the landscape of education to improve a...

Client Profiles
Tools & Publications

The NYC Leadership Academy is committed to improving academic success for students by strengthening school leadership quality and practice nationwide. With that goal in mind, we are creating a portfolio of tools and publications that leverages our experiences working with partners across the Unit...

NYC Leadership Academy

The NYC Leadership Academy is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that prepares and supports passionate, high-quality educators to lead schools that accelerate student learning and that increases the capacity of systems across the country to develop and support such education...

Our Staff

The job of a school leader has never been more challenging; the role has never been more critical. The quality of a school’s leadership affects all elements of learning, from the kinds of resources available to the caliber of teachers attracted to a school. By developing and supporting high...

Programs and Services

The NYC Leadership Academy (NYCLA) is the nation’s leading innovator for developing effective school leadership that transforms schools, inspires teachers, and improves outcomes for all students. We work to advance student achievement across the country by designing and implementing experie...


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Board of Directors
Aspiring Principals Program Model
Teaming Model
Professional Learning
School Leadership Teams
Aspiring Principals Program Model

The Bush Institute has named the NYC Leadership Academy an exemplary program and member of its Alliance to Reform Education Leadership (AREL), which seeks to enhance and empower the performance of America’s school principals as a means to impact student achievement.


NYC Leadership Academy was featured in a new special report, “High Impact Philanthropy to Improve Teaching Quality: Focus on High-Need Secondary Students,” by the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania. The report profiles NYC Leadership Academy’s principal preparation and support models as highly effective avenues for today’s results-oriented philanthropists who wish to address teaching quality, and teacher effectiveness and retention.


NYC Leadership Academy graduate Danika LaCroix, Principal of the Young Scholars Academy for Discovery and Exploration, and Ilene Friedman, our Vice President of Principal Preparation Programs, are both featured on Doing What Works (DWW). Sponsored by the United States Department of Education, DWW is an online library of resources providing tools to implement research-based instructional practices at schools. Danika and Ilene share lessons learned in a feature on turning around chronically low-performing schools.


Rainwater Leadership Alliance – Rainwater Leadership Alliance highlights NYC Leadership Academy as providing innovative principal preparation practices in the Rainwater Leadership Alliance’s New Approach to Principal Preparation report. The report shares an overview of the work and the lessons learned, along with those of other RLA members.


Leadership Excellence Magazine, a monthly publication dedicated to sharing best practices in leadership development, has ranked NYC Leadership Academy as one of the top 10 nonprofit in leadership development nationwide for the last five consecutive years.  In 2012, NYC Leadership Academy held fourth place out of over 1,000 organizations.


A Year of Change: Leadership in the Principal’s Office -- In this groundbreaking documentary series, NEW YORK VOICES goes behind-the-scenes to follow three aspiring principals enrolled in the New York City Leadership Academy as they find out if they have what it takes to run a New York City public school


NYC Leadership Academy is cited in a March 2007 report by the Wallace Foundation entitled A Wallace Perspective:  Getting Principal Mentoring Right.  This report highlights the work of NYC Leadership Academy in collaboration with the NYCDOE to effectively implement principal mentorship programs that achieve results.


From the presidential debate podiums to city streets across America, 2016 was a year of heated discussion and protest about race and culture and the disparities and policies that divide them. Schools, of course, were not immune to these conversations and tensions. As we consider how we can talk a...


During 2016, persistent racial and socioeconomic disparities were at the forefront of our nation’s consciousness, fueling many conversations about our educational system and how it serves – or doesn’t effectively serve – students of all races, ethnicities and backgro...

2016 Principal Supervisor Webinar Series

NYCLA's series of webinars 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...

2017 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...

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A Message from our CEO, Irma Zardoya

This holiday season, we are reminded of the importance of community. A core component of our mission is to create a network of like-minded school leaders committed to providing a quality education to every child.  It is this sense of community that fosters innovation and excellence in ...

Advancement for Christian Education Academy
Agreed that they would be able to apply what they learned
Agreed that training was useful
Alabama State Department of Education
Alan Baratz
Alaska Staff Development Network
Albuquerque Public Schools
Alexander Negron
Ann Marie Gillen
Arizona State University
Arizona State University
Arlene Berg
Ashley Lusky
Aspiring Leaders Programs

No matter where you are in your career, NYCLA has a program to get you to the next level. We offer programs for aspiring principals, assistant principals and teacher leaders, as well as our innovative teaming model that brings leaders at different levels together. Our programs have been replicate...

Aspiring Principals Program
Aspiring Principals Program (National)
Aspiring Principals Program Gallery

The Aspiring Principals Program is a rigorous, standards-based program rooted in experiential learning. These photos capture experiences of participants during the Summer Intensive.

Austin Independent School District
Baltimore City Public Schools
Bernadette Kriftcher
Bernadette Pizzurro
Beyond Diversity to Equity & Opportunity In support of her participation at NewSchools Venture Fund’s Summit2015 and its focus, Irma Zardoya, NYCLA’s President & CEO, shared her thoughts on the role of leadership in creating equity and opportunity for all students.
Bibb Hubbard
Board of Directors
Boston School Leadership Institute
Brooke Law
Buffalo Public Schools
Bush Institute and NYC Leadership Academy Lead Convening of National Leaders on Principal Preparation

December 5th is the first day of a 2-day convening of national leaders in education, led by the Bush Institute and NYC Leadership Academy, to inform the development of the Institute's Residency Design Initiative. NYCLA is working with our fellow members of the AREL Network, all innovat...

California State University, Dominguez Hills
Charles Glassman
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Coaching Compact

Coaches use the compact to begin a relationship with a new principal. The document lays out the responsibilities and expectations for the coach and the principal and guides the work for the year ahead.

Coaching Observation Reflection Sheet

Our coaching program staff visits each coach in the field to observe him or her working with principals two to three times per year. This reflection sheet guides their feedback.

Coaching Principals and Teams in Rhode Island’s Turnaround Schools

As part of its Race To The Top planning, the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) decided to launch an Academy for Transformative Leadership to strengthen leadership for low-achieving schools across the state. RIDE selected NYC Leadership Academy to assist in the design and launch of a var...

Coaching Program Consulting
Coaching Tools

Developed by our program staff, this document describes several coaching tools we often use with principals, including Calendar Analysis, Responsibility Matrix, Boyle's Matrix, and a Political Mapping exercise.

Consortium of Jewish Day Schools
Contact Us
Contact Us
Creating a Turnaround Leadership Academy in Massachusetts

Teachers21, a non-profit organization in Massachusetts, is known for its professional development, public policy work, and educational research. In 2011, they identified a statewide need for a program that could develop and prepare a pipeline of outstanding school leaders to address the needs of ...

Current Job Postings
Current Leader Programs

Whether in their first year or their fifteenth, we know school leaders are always looking to improve their leadership and, by extension, their schools. Our facilitative, competency-based coaching model helps develop strong, independent leaders who can transform outcomes for students. Our trained ...

Customized Leadership Development Programs for our Clients - This Summer's Engagements

NYCLA customizes its array of leadership development programs and services to fit our clients’ needs. Two examples include our work with the School District of Philadelphia and Rhode Island Department of Education.

Customized Leadership Development Programs for our Clients - This Summer's Engagements

NYCLA customizes its array of leadership development programs and services to fit our clients’ needs. Two examples include our work with the School District of Philadelphia and Rhode Island Department of Education.

Cynthia Hunter
Dallas Independent School District
David Goldsmith
Delaware Academy for School Leadership
Denver Public Schools
Derick Spaulding
Derick Spaulding Derick Spaulding is NYCLA’s National Facilitator and Designer, working with school systems across the country to build school and district leadership capacity. A Bronx native with 13 years of experience in education, Derick has taught middle school math and science and founded and led a middle sch...
Diana Joyce
Direct Service Coaching
District Leader Programs

Strong school leaders need strong leaders themselves. NYCLA offers consulting services to develop and enhance principal supervisor programs. With principal supervisors working smarter, your principals will be better able to focus on the task at hand: improving student achievement.

District Leadership Training
District of Columbia Public Schools
Donald F. Donahue

From 2006 to 2012, Mr. Donahue was Chief Executive Officer for The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation and for three of DTCC’s operating subsidiaries; Mr. Donahue also has served as Chairman of Omgeo LLC, DTCC’s joint venture with Thomson Reuters for institutional post-trade s...

Dr. Louise Mirrer

Dr. Louise Mirrer is President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Historical Society. Until recently, she was Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at The City University of New York. Prior to that, she served as Vice Provost for Arts, Sciences and Engineering at the University ...

Educational Equity: Turning Passion Into Action It is one of NYCLA's core beliefs that maintaining a persistent and systemic focus on equity, diversity and social justice be woven into all that we do. We invite you to read the latest blog post written by Irma Zardoya, NYCLA President & CEO, which articulates the actions that school leaders can ta...
Enrollment Is Now Open for 2016-17 Foundations of Principal Supervision Program

NYCLA is excited to offer Foundations of Principal Supervision, now in its second year, to new and experienced district leaders across the country. This year-long program is designed to assist districts in improving and strengthening principal supervision and support. 

Equity Sims
Erik W. Kahn

Erik Kahn counsels clients in diverse industries, including technology, telecommunications and telephony, Internet, retail, consumer brands, entertainment, publishing and fashion. His practice focuses on technology deals and intellectual property protection, transactions and litigation.


Evelyn Rodstein

Evelyn Rodstein is a recognized authority in the field of Leadership, Talent Management, and Organizational Development who has spearheaded major leadership and talent management initiatives for five Fortune 100 Companies and a Big Four public accounting firm. Most recently, she was Chief Talent ...

Family Basketball Night in Queens

Teachers at P.S./I.S. 178 in Queens traded blackboards for backboards last week when they took on students and their parents on the basketball court. More than one hundred teachers, school staff, and families packed the Holliswood gymnasium for the school’s second annual Family Basketball N...

Felt training was tailored to meet their needs
Five NYCLA Graduates Selected to be Cahn Fellows

Congratulations are in order for five NYCLA grads who have received an amazing opportunity to advance their professional, intellectual and personal growth.

Fort Wayne Community Schools
Foundations of Principal Supervision
Foundations of Principal Supervision - A Participant's Perspective

NYCLA’s Foundations of Principal Supervision (FPS) program is designed to assist districts from across the country focused on improving principal supervision and support. Now recruiting participants for its second cohort, FPS offers extensive training, peer networking, and support to partic...

Frank Spradley
Fundação Itaú Social
Funders and Partners

The NYC Leadership Academy is grateful to the private foundations and government agencies that financially support our vision to improve outcomes nationwide, particularly for the most vulnerable students, through high-quality school leadership. As a result of their generous contributions, our wor...

George Foley
Gerry Falchick
Gloria Buckery
Governors State University
Greece Central Schools
Greece, New York - Districtwide Leadership Development Program Highlighted by State

With support from NYCLA, the Greece Central School District (GCSD) launched a comprehensive, district-wide professional development program focusing on school leadership in early 2013.  We are delighted that this GCSD initiative was recently highlighted by the New York State Education ...

Greg Tewksbury
Gwinnett County Public Schools
Hartford Public Schools
How does NYCLA price its client engagements?
How is participant readiness assessed during the program?
How many aspiring principals should a district typically recruit and select in a year for this program?
Illinois State University
In Basket Video

This ten-minute video shows the in-basket activity in action, including several participants engaging in the angry parent role play. It also shows part of the day’s debrief, in which participants share their “aha!” moments.

In-Basket Day Curriculum

The in-basket activity is a hallmark simulation at the end of week one of the summer intensive. It involves principals reacting to emails and messages from constituents; completing a teacher observation; and participating in a role play with an angry parent. This document is the full scope and ...

In-Basket Day Facilitator Guide

This facilitator guide describes the purpose of the in-basket simulation, describes the logistical pieces involved in running the activity, and provides insight into possible approaches to the debrief.

In-Basket Day Participant Instructions and Selected Samples

During the in-basket activity, participants receive dozens of pieces of information requiring the principal’s attention, which they must decide whether to handle and how to do so. This document includes the instructions that participants receive and three sample in-basket items.

Increasing the Equity Divide, One Low Expectation at a Time

District leaders, how are you ensuring that low expectations for student outcomes are not plaguing the school system and the stakeholders you are charged with leading?

Innovative Schools ​Innovative Schools' Delaware Leadership Program:
Innovative Schools Development Corporation
Intensive Summer Training for Aspiring Leaders Nationwide

Aspiring leaders in Buffalo (NY), Cleveland (OH) and New York City are currently immersed in intensive summer trainings intended to launch rigorous year-long school leadership preparation programs.  These summer intensives include simulated school experiences rooted in problem-based an...

Interview Scenario

A rigorous hiring process ensures the selection of highly qualified coaches who can be successful helping principals shift their leadership behaviors. This scenario is part of our interview process.

Intervisitation Reflection Sheet

Coaches often visit one another in the field to see different coaching strategies in action, or to learn from a colleague with specific expertise (such as working with principals who have opened new schools). This reflection sheet guides the coach’s feedback to his/her colleague.

Iowa Department of Education
Iowa TLC Principal Leadership Coach Consultant
Irma Zardoya
Irma Zardoya

Irma Zardoya is the President and CEO of the NYC Leadership Academy. Born and raised in the Bronx, Ms. Zardoya has been an innovative agent for change on behalf of New York City public school students during her extensive career as a New York City education leader. Prior to joining the Leadership...

Irma Zardoya Irma Zardoya is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the NYC Leadership Academy.
Jane Ginsberg
Jessica Cihal
Jill Grossman
Join Us for NYCLA's 2017 Principal Supervisor Webinar Series

NYCLA is pleased to announce our second series of free Principal Supervisor Webinars, which begin this week. Our webinars convene a national audience to engage with expert guests as they delve into timely and p...

Jonathan M. Moses

Jonathan M. Moses is a member of the firm’s Litigation Department, which he joined in 1998. He has represented clients in diverse industries, including banks and financial institutions, media companies, and industrial firms. His practice includes government investigative proceedings and com...

Joseph Burke
Juanita Lewis
Kansas State Department of Education
Karim Parchment
Kathleen Drucker
Kathleen Nadurak
Kathleen Nadurak, Executive Vice President of Programs, Featured in Education Week Article

Our very own Kathy Nadurak is featured in the March 5th edition of Education Week in an article that emphasizes the principal’s role in enhancing school climate.

Kathy Nadurak Serves on National Committee to Set Principal Supervisor Policy NYCLA Executive Vice President, Kathy Nadurak, recently contributed her expertise to one of three committees created by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) that are intended to revise and update model standards used nationwide to guide, prepare, and evaluate school leaders.
Kathy Wylde, Founding Member of NYCLA's Board of Directors, Steps Down

It was with a heavy heart that the NYC Leadership Academy (NYCLA) said goodbye to one of the organization’s founding board members last week. After 11 years of service, Kathy Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, stepped down from our Board of Directors. ...

Keisha Chandler, NYCLA’s Associate Director of School Leadership Development, Presents at Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference

Students across the country, particularly the most vulnerable, deserve passionate and highly effective school leaders capable of transforming their educational experiences and outcomes. To this end, Keisha Chandler, Associate Director of School Leadership Development, led a professional developme...


Observations, wonderings and tools on leadership and equity from the NYC Leadership Academy’s staff of school and district leadership experts.

LPPW Sample Dimensions

The Leadership Performance Planning Worksheet was developed by the NYC Leadership Academy in consultation with The Wallace Foundation and the state education departments of Delaware, Missouri and Kentucky. It is grounded in the belief that focused work on a subset of clearly defined leadership co...

La Fundación Empresarios por la Educación (Colombia)
Leadership Coaching

NYCLA's signature Facilitative, Competency-Based (FCB) Coaching model is grounded in proven behavior-based standards and shown to increase leadership performance. Our coaches support leaders in making changes in instructional quality and organizational capacity at the school and district levels t...

Leadership Coaching Model
Leadership Insight
Leadership Performance Standards Matrix

View all twelve dimensions of our Leadership Performance Standards Matrix, which was informed by the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards for School Leaders. Participants must demonstrate behaviors that meet standards in order to graduate.

Leading and Learning: A Professional Development Series for Principal Supervisors
Learn More about NYCLA's New National Aspiring Principals Program at Upcoming Informational Webinars

Enrollment for NYCLA's national Aspiring Principals Program is currently underway. Join us for a free introductory webinar to learn more about this innovative program that will support school districts in developing high-quality principals and principal pipelines.

Linda Lewis
Lois Weiswasser
Los Angeles Unified School District
Making Every Child Visible

No child deserves to be seen as a statistic, to be known simply for the color of her skin or her country of origin. At the NYC Leadership Academy, we believe that every one of our students needs educators who know and honor them for all of their complexities and individualities.

Marilyn Kress
Mark Levine
Mark Moskowitz
Mark Singer
Marlene Filewich
Mary Jo Dunnington
Mary Rice-Boothe Mary B. Rice-Boothe is the Vice President for District Leadership Support at NYCLA. With more than 15 years of experience in education, Mary has been a teacher, principal, and a designer and director of school leader development programs. She is a graduate of NYCLA’s APP program.
Mary Rice-Boothe
Mayor Bloomberg Visits NYC Leadership Academy Graduate Ken Baum’s School to Discuss Education Reform

Mayor Michael Bloomberg met with teachers and students at the Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science to discuss his education reform plan on Wednesday.

Memphis City Schools
Menachem Education Foundation
Mentor Evaluation

Mentor principals complete a midyear and a final evaluation of their aspiring principal. Mentors use the evaluation to list specific low-inference data that illustrates whether the aspiring principal is not meeting, progressing toward, or meeting each standard.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Michael Kim
Michelle Jarney

Michelle Jarney is Vice President of Leadership Coaching Services at NYCLA, where she has worked since 2004.

Michelle Jarney
Minneapolis Public Schools
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
NYC Leadership Academy APP Alumnus, Ken Baum, featured in New York Times

Principal Ken Baum and teachers at the Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Sciences use back-to-school home visits as a key outreach strategy to welcome new students and their families to the school and strengthen connections with the community. 

NYC Leadership Academy Alumni Association Celebrates Schools Chancellor, Carmen Fariña

On February 6th, alumni of NYC Leadership Academy’s Aspiring Principals Program gathered at Murry Bergtraum High School in lower Manhattan for a welcome reception in honor of NYC Schools Chancellor, Carmen Fariña. A lifelong educator and highly-respected former teacher, princip...

NYC Leadership Academy Appoints Irma Zardoya as New CEO

Irma Zardoya is joining the NYC Leadership Academy as its President and CEO after a distinguished career as a teacher, principal and longtime superintendent in the NYC public schools. She looks forward to building on our successful track record by continuing to support visionary school lead...

NYC Leadership Academy CEO Tapped for New State-Wide Education Reform Commission

The NYC Leadership Academy is pleased to announce that Governor Andrew Cuomo has appointed Irma Zardoya, our President & CEO, to New York State’s new NY Education Reform Commission.

NYC Leadership Academy Graduate Featured in NY Times

NYC Leadership Academy graduate Shimon Waronker, Principal of the New American Academy in Crown Heights, is featured in a recent NY Times op-ed piece on The Academy. The article describes the Waronker’s non-traditional path to founding his school.

NYC Leadership Academy Graduate Luis Torres Delivers Memorable Acceptance Speech

View Luis Torres’ acceptance of his ASCD award for 2011 Outstanding Young Educator on YouTube, and discover how as Principal of PS 55 in the South Bronx, he leads student achievement, school transformation, and community engagement. 

NYC Leadership Academy Graduate Luis Torres Named A 2011 Outstanding Young Educator by ASCD

Luis Torres, principal of PS 55 in the South Bronx and graduate of the NYC Leadership Academy’s Aspiring Principals Program (APP), received an Outstanding Young Educator Award from the ASCD, an international education leadership organization, at its 66th Annual Conference and Exhibit ...

NYC Leadership Academy Hosts Sixth Convening for National Principal Pipeline Initiative on Behalf of the Wallace Foundation

Leaders from six urban school districts and educational thought partners from organizations nationwide met on April 28th and 29th at Baruch College in New York City as part of the Wallace Foundation’s $75 million principal pipeline initiative.

NYC Leadership Academy Ranked 5th in Survey of National Nonprofits Committed To Leadership Development

We are proud to announce that the NYC Leadership Academy has been honored in the Leadership 500 Awards annual ranking of nonprofit organizations committed to leadership development for the sixth consecutive year.

NYC Leadership Academy Staff and Graduate Discuss School Leadership and Turnaround Schools on Doing What Works

NYC Leadership Academy graduate Danika LaCroix, Principal of the Young Scholars Academy for Discovery and Exploration, and Ilene Friedman, our Vice President of Principal Preparation Programs, are both featured on Doing What Works (DWW). Sponsored by the United States...

NYC Leadership Academy Tapped to Host University of London’s US Convening of Education Leadership Practitioners

On April 4th, 2012, The NYC Leadership Academy hosted a convening of practitioners in Education Leadership in NYC. This is the first convening of the Advisory Group of Young Global Leaders, an international research project being conducte...

NYCLA Announces Upcoming Webinar for Principal Supervisors

Are you interested in designing more effective and purposeful meetings with the school principals you support and/or supervise? Join us for NYCLA’s cost-free Principal Supervisor Webinar Series with the first presentation on November 10th from 4-5pm EST. Entitled “Making the Most of M...

NYCLA Awarded $3 million in funds by the United States Department of Education

As part of their Investing in Innovation Initiative, the USDOE will award over $135 million to expand practices designed to improve student achievement. As a recipient, NYCLA will launch our Targeted Intensive School Support Program designed to sustain the turnaround of low performing schoo...

NYCLA Begins Latest University Partnership

NYCLA is working with the Beeghly College of Education at Youngstown State University (YSU) in Ohio in support of the university’s efforts to build the leadership skills of aspiring and sitting principals in the Youngstown City School District (YSCD).

NYCLA Begins Recruitment for New National Aspiring Principals Program

In response to the growing need for high quality school leaders in districts throughout the country, and with support from American Express and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, NYCLA has launched an innovative  NYCLA Begins Three Innovative Client Engagements

NYCLA recently began three new client engagements that reflect the organization’s ability to tailor our proven leadership development models to fit our clients' unique needs.

NYCLA Celebrates Graduates Making Headlines

With National Principals Month coming to a close, NYCLA is thrilled to celebrate our graduates who have built upon their NYCLA experiences by articulating and executing their visions and who are improving outcomes and increasing opportunities for their students. Most recently, three graduates of ...

NYCLA Collaborates with Clients Nationwide

As the NYC Leadership Academy team gears up for another busy summer of education leader training and support, we are energized by the start of new work with District of Columbia Public Schools and our continued collaboration with Fort Wayne Community Schools (Indiana). We are helping both clients...

NYCLA Continues Equity Initiative by Convening New York City Alumni Network

The national spotlight is shining intensely on the challenges faced by Black men in today’s society. Events in Ferguson, North Charleston, Baltimore, and New York City – as well as other cities and towns that have not made national headlines – have propelled much needed societal...

NYCLA Executive and Graduate Featured On LinkedIn

At the NYC Leadership Academy, our top priority is to impact adults, and ultimately the students we serve. Claire McIntee, NYCLA’s Senior Vice President of Programs, and Chris Aguirre, a NYCLA graduate, were spotlighted in a thoughtful piece by Regina Paul, the President of ...

NYCLA Featured in Education Week as One of Five American Express Grant Recipients

Education Week recently published an article celebrating American Express for investing nearly $2.5 million to support five principal preparation and training programs. This investment is cited as the foundation’s first foray into education leadership philanthropy and NYCLA is honored...

NYCLA Graduate Reginald Richardson Joins Board of Directors

The NYC Leadership Academy (NYCLA) is fortunate to welcome Reginald Richardson to our esteemed Board of Directors. A New York City native, Mr. Richardson is an 18-year veteran educator, currently serving as the Principal of New Rochelle High School in New Rochelle, NY. We recently spent some time...

NYCLA Graduates Highlighted in New Video Series by the Wallace Foundation

What does it take to succeed as a school leader? Find out by tuning in to the Wallace Foundation’s new video highlighting the stories of 13 school leaders who are tackling some of the toughest challenges, which features NYC Leadership Academy graduates, Jonathan Foy and E...

NYCLA Graduates in the News

As we celebrate National Principals Month this October, NYC Leadership Academy is proud of its alumni who are bringing positive change to their school communities. Here are the stories of our graduates who have been in the news recently.

NYCLA Kicks Off “Foundations of Principal Supervision” with Summer Intensive in New York City Early career principal supervisors from across the country recently participated in a five-day summer intensive portion of the NYC Leadership Academy (NYCLA)’s new Foundations of Principal Supervision program. Participants engaged in intensive, hands-on, standards-based training and peer-to-peer c...
NYCLA Launches Mini-Grant Program for New York City Network Members

We are excited to announce an opportunity for NYCLA's New York City Network – comprised of 538 graduates of its Aspiring Principals Program (APP) and more than 1,800 coached principals – that is being funded by the Booth Ferris Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York.The Netwo...

NYCLA Leaders Participate in Harvard University Initiatives

The Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) selected three NYC Leadership Academy (NYCLA) leaders to participate in two high-profile programs in late November, both of which were focused on the development of effective leaders for schools and school systems. We are thrilled that NYCLA a...

NYCLA Leaders Present at AASA’s National Conference on Education in Nashville

On February 13th and 14th, the NYC Leadership Academy joined more than 3,000 superintendents and senior public school leaders from all over the country in Nashville, Tennessee for the National Conference on Education, hosted by the American Association of School Administrators.

NYCLA Leaders Present with the School District of Philadelphia at American Association of School Administrators 2016 National Conference

NYCLA facilitated two presentations on principal supervision for more than 140 school and district leaders at the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) 2016 National Conference. Irma Zardoya, NYCLA President & CEO, led a conversation with leaders from the School ...

NYCLA Leaders Share Expertise Nationally

NYCLA’s Irma Zardoya, President & CEO, and Nancy Gutierrez, Senior Leadership Development Strategist, each participated in thought leadership events where they had the opportunity to collaborate with other education leaders committed to school leadership development.

NYCLA Offers Advanced Leadership Coach Training

NYCLA is excited to offer for the first time an advanced leadership coaching training for district and university coach practitioners, Deepening Leadership Coaching: Sustaining Growth and Achieving Results. Designed to help experienced school leadership coaches adva...

NYCLA Participates in Giving Tuesday The NYC Leadership Academy (NYCLA) is kicking off a month-long awareness and fundraising campaign today as part of our ongoing participation in #GivingTuesday. Our goal is to raise awareness that the school leader is an essential component in school turnaround and in maintaining teaching and learnin...
NYCLA Partners Share Experiences at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's Annual Summit

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s 2015 Annual Summit, hosted on March 6 in San Francisco, featured education leaders who successfully brought about change in their organizations and communities.

Irma Zardoya, NYCLA President & CEO, led a panel discussion ...

NYCLA Presents Evaluation Strategy at Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education

Dr. Katie Drucker, Associate Vice President of Research, Evaluation & Impact, and Dr. Liliana Polo-McKenna, Vice President of School Leadership Support recently presented at the annual Carnegie Foundation Summit to a standing-room only crowd of educators and others in the field of educa...

NYCLA Receives $100,000 Grant from The New York Community Trust for Groundbreaking Initiative

NYCLA was recently awarded a two-year grant from The New York Community Trust to support our newest initiative: Targeted Intensive School Support. This program prepares, places, and supports leadership teams in high-need schools with the goal of improving student outcomes.

NYCLA Receives $2 Million Grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York

The NYC Leadership Academy (NYCLA) has received a two year, $2 million grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. This grant will fund NYCLA’s strategic expansion, which focuses on supporting more school districts, state departments of education, universities, and nonprofits through...

NYCLA Receives $25,000 Grant from the RGK Foundation to Support Online Work

The NYC Leadership Academy is pleased to receive funding from the RGK Foundation to support the development and implementation of our online and blended learning programs and service offerings. The $25,000 grant is supporting the launch of our virtual learning platform, through which NYCLA is hel...

NYCLA Receives Funding from American Express to Expand its Nationally Recognized Aspiring Principals Program

NYCLA is thrilled to announce that American Express has provided significant funding to expand our Aspiring Principals Program (APP) to serve multiple districts in and around the New York tristate area. American Express worked with the National Association of School Principals to select the ...

NYCLA Receives Generous Funding From Booth Ferris Foundation to Expand New York City Network

The NYC Leadership Academy (NYCLA) is pleased to share that we have received a $250,000, two-year grant from the Booth Ferris Foundation to expand our New York City Network. The objective of this comprehensive initiative is to galvanize our Aspiring Principals Program alumni and coached principal...

NYCLA Releases 2015 Accomplishments Report

For the past 12 years, the NYC Leadership Academy has sought to ensure that schools and districts across the country have well-prepared educational leaders who create the conditions necessary for all children to receive a high-quality education, regardless of location or demographics. We are exci...

NYCLA Releases Guide to School Leadership Coaching The NYC Leadership Academy (NYCLA) invites you to read our latest publication, “Taking Charge of Principal Support: An In-Depth Look at the NYC Leadership Academy’s Approach to Coaching Principals.” Funded by The Wallace Foundation, this guide provides insight into our coaching model, includin...
NYCLA Staff Featured on "XQ: The Super School Project" Expert Panel

NYCLA staff is largely comprised of former public school leaders who have transformed schools and who leverage that expertise to support clients and program participants. Irma Zardoya, President & CEO, and Liliana Polo-McKenna, Vice President of Leadership Support and a graduate of NYCLA's Ne...

NYCLA Staff Participate in Courageous Conversations about Race

It is at the core of NYCLA’s belief system that maintaining a persistent and systemic focus on equity, diversity and social justice be a prerequisite for all that we do. Earlier this year, NYCLA staff participated in a comprehensive, two-day session designed to deepen our thinking about the...

NYCLA Supports Statewide Program for School Leadership Teams in Iowa

One of NYCLA’s partners, the Iowa Department of Education (IDE), received acclaim recently from former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for its teacher leadership initiative. A noteworthy aspect of Iowa’s initiative is its focus on the role that school principals and other admi...

NYCLA Teaming Model Pair Featured in News

Chalkbeat NYC published an article highlighting Maxine Cameron and Latishia Towles, members of the first cohort of NYCLA’s new Teaming Model. Principal Cameron and Assistant Principal Towles are leveraging their complementary skill sets and commitment to collaboration to lead P.S. 013...

NYCLA Utilizes Diagnostic Process for School Planning School and district leaders across the country are gearing up for their next year of service for the millions of students across the country. NYCLA is excited to once again utilize our School Diagnostic Process to help school leaders to strategize, set goals, and prioritize initiatives to improve ac...
NYCLA Welcomes Bibb Hubbard to Board of Directors

The NYC Leadership Academy (NYCLA) has recently welcomed two new esteemed educational experts to our Board of Directors. Last month, you met Reginald Richardson, an 18-year veteran educator, currently serving as the Principal of New Rochelle High School.

Bibb Hubbard, Principal of the Par...

NYCLA Welcomes Two Harvard Doctoral Candidates to Staff NYCLA is thrilled to welcome Veronica Benavides and Francis Yasharian to our staff as they embark on the 10-month residency phase of the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Doctor of Education Leadership Program. Veronica and Francis will hone their leadership skills while working on high-priorit...
NYCLA Works with Advisory Committee of Education Experts to Strengthen Programs

For any new program to be truly groundbreaking and change current practice, program designers, facilitators, and managers should welcome and channel the perspectives of expert thought leaders. The NYC Leadership Academy (NYCLA) has embraced this approach with our federally-funded Investing ...

NYCLA's Blended Learning Approach Featured in Principal Leadership Magazine

Over the past two years, the NYC Leadership Academy has developed and launched a blended learning platform and tools that have allowed us to enhance our service offerings. Led by Rachel Scott, Senior Director of Learning Systems, NYCLA's blended learning approach combines online tools with ...

NYCLA's Online Leadership Performance Planning Worksheet

NYCLA’s new school leadership coaching tool, the Online Leadership Performance Planning Worksheet (LPPW), provides a web-based interface for school leaders and their coaches to work together between in-person visits or phone or web check-ins. The tool also enables a district administrator t...

NYCLA's Signature Coach Training Program Dates Announced JUST ANNOUNCED: NYCLA's signature trainings for school leadership coaches have been scheduled for August 3-4 and December 1-2, 2015 in New York City.
NYCLA's Summer Intensives Prepare Aspiring Leaders Nationwide The Summer Intensive is a rigorous, multi-week program that is the first phase of NYCLA’s Aspiring Principals Program model. The Summer Intensive harnesses the proven power of experiential learning, anchored by robust simulated school experiences, to ensure that aspiring principals develop the cor...
NYCLA’s Coaching Program Evaluation Tool Presented at National Conference Katie Drucker, NYCLA's Senior Director of Research and Evaluation, recently led a roundtable discussion at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the largest gathering of scholars in the field of education research. Katie presented a newly developed NYCLA tool, t...
NYCLA’s Coaching Services Achieve Proven Results for School Leaders and Clients Nationwide

Coaching has been an integral component of NYCLA’s approach to developing effective school leadership for many years.  In 2008, we launched two forms of coaching services -- assistance in building new and strengthening existing coaching programs, and direct coaching for principal...

NYCLA’s Senior Director of Research and Evaluation Presents at “Visionary Evaluation” Conference Hosted by the American Evaluation Association

A key element of the NYC Leadership Academy’s commitment to improving school leadership is our ongoing focus on comprehensive research and program evaluation. We are proud to share that Kathleen Drucker, our Senior Director of Research and Evaluation, was selected to present at this y...

Nancy Gutierrez Dr. Nancy Gutierrez is the Chief Strategy Officer for the NYC Leadership Academy.
Nancy Gutierrez

Dr. Nancy Gutierrez joined the NYC Leadership Academy in 2014 and currently serves as Chief Strategy Officer. In this capacity, Nancy oversees and support NYCLA’s client engagement, fundraising, communications, and research and evaluation efforts. Her priorities include increasing NYCLA&rsq...

Nancy Gutierrez Presents to School Turnaround Leaders at the Harvard Graduate School of Education Today, Nancy Gutierrez, National Leadership Development Strategist at the NYC Leadership Academy (NYCLA), is presenting at Harvard Graduate School of Education’s (HGSE) School Turnaround Leaders (STL) Institute. Nancy will join Harvard faculty and other expert practitioners to help close to 200 s...
Neil Kreinik
New Haven Public Schools
New NYC Leadership Academy CEO, Irma Zardoya, Profiled in Gotham Schools

Our new CEO Irma Zardoya discusses her plans to build on the NYC Leadership Academy’s track record, and focus on improving the support and integration of new principals.

New York City Aspiring Principals Program
New York City Network Principals Receive Mini-Grants for Equity Initiatives

NYCLA is excited to announce the winners of its mini-grant program for New York City Network participants. The Network – comprised of 538 graduates of its Aspiring Principals Program (APP) and more than 1,800 coached principals – is being funded by the Booth Ferris Foundation and Carn...

New York State Education Department
News and Resources Read the NYC Leadership Academy's latest articles and access our tools and resources by browsing the sections below.
Nikki Nagler
No More Missed Opportunities

I was presenting at a conference on NYCLA’s recent work around equity when, part way through my presentation, a woman raised her hand and said, “As a white woman, when you use the term ‘social justice,’ that gives me an out to not talk about race.”

Norman Wechsler
North Carolina State University
Online Instructional Designer
Orange County Public Schools
Our Approach
Our Graduates - From Kindergarten and Beyond
Participant Perspectives: A Look into NYCLA's Aspiring Principals Program

NYCLA’s flagship initiative, the Aspiring Principals Program (APP) prepares exceptional leaders to transform our nation’s most challenging schools.

Peter A. Flaherty

Mr. Flaherty has served as Managing Director for Arcon Partners, a private investment firm, since 2005 and is currently a Director Emeritus of McKinsey & Company, which he joined in 1975. At McKinsey, he rose through the ranks to become a Principal in 1981, and was elected a Senior Partner in...

Phil Benowitz
Prince George's County Public Schools
Principal Prep Through the Eyes of a Graduate

July was an exciting month at the NYC Leadership Academy as the tenth cohort of the New York City Aspiring Principals Program (APP) graduated, and joined a network of leaders committed to making a difference in the city's high-need schools.

Principal Supervisor Programs
Principal Supervisors Gallery
Privacy Policy
Professional Learning Gallery
Program Sustainability Audit and Action Planning Tool

The PSAAP is a free online interactive tool designed to help school leader coaching and mentoring initiatives assess and strengthen their programs' long-term viability. Developed with support from The Wallace Foundation, the PSAAP is intended for use by coaching/mentoring program directors and th...

Providence Public School District
Queens University of Charlotte
Rachel Scott
Reginald Richardson
Residency Compact

The compact is a tool that outlines expectations for the aspiring principal’s residency experience. It is crafted and signed by the aspiring principal, his/her mentor principal, and his/her NYC Leadership Academy facilitator.

Residency Design Webinar Series

"Putting the Pieces Together: The Essential Elements for a Successful Aspiring Principal Residency" is a no-cost, three-part webinar series that brings together experts and practitioners from universities, school districts, and aspiring principal preparation programs to explore e...

Resident Experts: NYC Leadership Academy Leads National Initiative on Aspiring Principal Residencies

What constitutes an effective residency experience for an aspiring school leader? How can principal preparation programs design and sustain these important “clinical” training opportunities in the face of resource constraints?  In collaboration with the George W. Bush Insti...

Retreat Planning Tools

Retreats can be an opportunity for the principal to do some focused work with his/her leadership team. Coaches use this tool to help principals plan for a retreat to use their time as effectively as possible.

Rhode Island Department of Education
Rosemary Prati
Ruby Fernandez Ruby Fernandez is a lifelong educator with nearly 20 years of experience both working in the public school system and with nonprofit organizations committed to improving public education. Until recently the Associate Vice President of Equity and Leadership Development at NYCLA, Ruby is now a Deputy ...
Sample Coach Team Meeting Agenda

Our coaches meet as a team approximately every six weeks for professional development. Team meetings typically cover a cross-section of three major types of training: context-driven work (deepening knowledge of working with the NYCDOE, where we do the bulk of our direct coaching); art of coaching...

Sandhills Regional Education Consortium
Sarah Stevens
School Administrators of Iowa
School District Leaders - Say Something

Your school leaders need to hear your voice. The results of our presidential election have created tension in communities across the country. There are likely a variety of opinions among your school leaders, among your teachers, among your students, and among your families—even in places yo...

School District of Philadelphia
School Leaders Join Forces in the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

This month, Hurricane Sandy left many in her path along the East Coast on a long road to recovery.  Not only were homes destroyed and families displaced, but many NYC schools were affected as well.

School Leadership Coach Training
School Leadership Coaching
School Leadership Coaching Gallery
School's In Session: NYC Leadership Academy Partners Across the Country Deepen Their Leadership Pipelines

From Alaska to Alabama, California to Connecticut, and Minnesota to Massachusetts, NYC Leadership Academy partners with districts, state agencies, universities and other nonprofit organizations to build and strengthen local programs that develop and support outstanding s...

School's in class by itself

To most educators, 60 elementary-school kids in one classroom would sound like a nightmare.

To founding New American Academy Principal Shimon Waronker, it's the new way forward.

Scott D. Widmeyer

Scott Widmeyer has a 30-year record in providing strategic counsel to presidents, governors, chief executive officers and union leaders. His track record of successes in education, health care, politics, campaign finance, technology, trade and other public policy matters illustrates his impact as...

Send Your School Leadership Coaches to NYCLA's Multi-District Coach Training

NYCLA's signature trainings for external school leadership coaches have been scheduled in New York City. Facilitative, Competency-Based (FCB) I will take place May 23-24 and Sept 12-13, and FCB II on Nov 14-15. Client coaches may attend either of the scheduled FCB I trainings in preparation for F...


NYCLA's newly released Equity Sims engage educational leaders in reflection and decision-making through interactive, video-based scenarios related to issues of equity in schools. The sims are designed to ignite a conversation on racial equity among participants who can then apply wh...

Sourcing School Leadership Talent: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Drives Innovation with Principal Preparation Partners

Several years ago, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina determined that having high-quality leadership needed to be a core component of the district's improvement strategy.  Recognized nationally for its leadership pipeline work, CMS is a bright example of how a district can...

Student at Global Technology Prep Introduces Secretary Duncan at the White House

Josniel Martinez, a seventh grader at Global Technology Preparatory Middle School in East Harlem, which is led by NYC Leadership Academy graduate Chrystina Russell, introduced U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at the White House for the launch of Digital Promise, a new national center...

Summer Intensive Assignments

Participants complete a range of group and individual assignments during the summer intensive. Each is aligned to the theme of the week. During week two, participants exchange and review week one’s group assignment, the Sixth Grade Data Analysis; complete an individual Teacher Study after wat...

Summer Intensive Simulation School Staff Profiles

Participants receive a wide range of data about the simulation school of which they are "principals" for the summer, including profiles of their staff.

Summer Intensive Week 2 Scope and Sequence Sample

Week two of the summer intensive focuses on school culture. These three sample days show how the curriculum interweaves class work, team work, individual assignments, and readings in the context of the simulation school.

Sy Sternberg

Sy Sternberg is retired chairman of the board and chief executive officer of New York Life Insurance Company, the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States and one of the largest life insurers in the world.

Take It from Us: Advice from our Coaches

Earlier this month, tens of thousands of public schools across the country opened their doors to welcome students for a new academic year.  At NYC Leadership Academy, we work tirelessly every summer to prepare school leaders for the unique opportunities and challenges that each school ...

Taking Charge of Ensuring Equity for ALL Students

There is a crisis in the American public education system: educational equity for all students.  NYC Leadership Academy is dedicated to making sure that every student has access to the best possible education.  Graduates of our NYC-based Aspiring Principals program are committed t...

Talking About Race

Much of coaching is about surfacing what might be difficult to take in or hard to say. To coach is often to voice feedback, observing behaviors, calling them out, and working with leaders to explore the impact that their decisions, their actions, and their words, have on others. I often describe ...

The Bush Institute Recognizes the NYC Leadership Academy

The Bush Institute has named the NYC Leadership Academy an exemplary program and member of its Alliance to Reform Education Leadership (AREL), which seeks to enhance and empower the performance of America’s school principals as a means to impact student achievement

The Self I Bring: Leading for Racial Equity is Personal

My work in school leadership is personal. When I moved to the U.S. from Ghana at age 10, I came with messaging from my family and community that nothing was impossible for me. The adults in my life -- my village -- believed in me, had high expectations for me.

The Wallace Foundation Taps the NYC Leadership Academy to Develop Learning Community for Grant for its New Principal Pipeline Initiative

The Wallace Foundation has awarded the NYC Leadership Academy a two-year, $250K grant to create and support a professional learning community among the six, urban school districts the Foundation has selected to participate in its new “Principal Pipeline” initiative, which will e...

The Wallace Foundation’s Principal Supervisor Initiative On October 4th and 5th, NYCLA hosted, on behalf of the Wallace Foundation, the first in a series of convenings bringing together education leadership experts and district leaders from eight school districts who are all part of the foundation's newly launched Principal Supervisor Initiative.
Video: Mental Models and Ladder of Inference

In this video, Sandra Stein, former CEO of NYCLA, describes the concept of mental models. Coaches often use this concept to help principals unpack how they are approaching a situation.

Video: Purposeful and Strategic Communication

This video shows a coach working with a principal around her communication skills.

Videos: What Coaching Is and Is Not

These two videos, meant to be viewed consecutively, show what our facilitative, competency-based approach to coaching school leaders looks like in action – and what it doesn’t look like.

What Motivates NYCLA's Direct Service Coaches

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-year survey said that NYCLA coaching enhanced their leadership practice. But what keeps the coaches...

iLeadAZ to Become the Flagship Principal Program at Arizona State University

NYCLA is thrilled that iLeadAZ, the aspiring principals program we helped develop in collaboration with Arizona State University's (ASU) Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, will become the university's flagship preparatory initiative.  Leveraging our Aspiring Principals Program (APP) mod...


NYC Leadership Academy is featured in a recent article about the Delaware Leadership Project: On the job training for prospective principals.