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JCPS principals complete Distinguished Leadership Program

Johnston County Public Schools had two principals recently complete the Distinguished Leadership Program (DLP), a year-long leadership development program for practicing school principals.

Cleveland Middle Principal Sarah Reynolds and West Johnston High Principal Jennifer Swartz were recognized for their successful completion of the program on March 11.

The DLP is designed and provided by the North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principal’s Association (NCPAPA) and sponsored by the North Carolina Alliance for School Leadership Development (NCASLD).

“The Distinguished Leadership in Practice Program and its processes were an amazing opportunity for me to learn and network from principals across the state. The year-long process pushed me to reflect and grow in my practice through shared ideas and feedback as we implemented and updated practices within our respective schools,” said Reynolds. “Working with Jennifer Swartz was an amazing experience. As part of a feeder pattern, we were able to discuss and implement processes that promote continuity and provide support to our students. I have gained an invaluable, state-wide network of amazing educational leaders through this program.”

The program uses a non-traditional professional development model that is aligned to the performance evaluation standards adopted by the State Board of Education for North Carolina’s school leaders.

“I have learned a great deal through this opportunity to work with DLP and will continue to serve as an ambassador to promote its value to other school leaders,” said Swartz. “The NCPAPA program that Dr. Shirley Prince and her team have developed for principals is the best professional development I have experienced as an administrator. I am grateful to the instructors who led our sessions throughout the year and to JCPS leadership for supporting principals as we engage in learning opportunities and model the growth we want for our students and staff.”

This unique cohort-based program is designed to limit principals’ time away from their schools by allowing them to attend face-to-face sessions once every other month while accessing online assignments, materials, and coaching in between face-to-face sessions.

Principals engage in a series of authentic activities throughout the year-long experience that are designed to build the capacity of their schools and their own capacity as “distinguished” school leaders.

“The leadership of the school principal is by far one of the most important factors in school quality. By completing this very rigorous program, our DLP graduates have demonstrated their commitment to continuous improvement by working to improve their leadership skills as they simultaneously improve their schools. We are proud to include them in the ranks of successful DLP completers,” said Dr. Shirley Prince, NCPAPA Executive Director.

This program is offered in Chapel Hill and serves principals in all eight regions of the state. NCPAPA, in existence since 1976, is the preeminent organization and state voice for principals, assistant principals and aspiring school leaders. NCPAPA represents 5,000+ members from across the state and serves as the state’s principal affiliate of the N.C. Association of School Administrators (NCASA), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

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