Changes in leadership at Putnam County Schools have the system wanting to plan ahead.
Director of Schools Corby King said that it’s important to have a robust pool of candidates who are eager to fill leadership roles. He said that the system currently has a principal and leadership pipeline through a “learn-to-lead” program.
“The principals nominate,” King said. “Teachers will let principals know that they’re interested in taking a leadership program. They’re either in a degree program, obtaining an instructional leadership license or they’ve completed that recently, and they want to be more involved in school leadership.”
King said that the process involves three levels of training, each getting more in-depth than the last. He said that some teachers end up realizing they can simply be leaders in their school from the classroom without having to go into administration.
King said that they are always looking for internal candidates because the system knows its employees and how hard they work. He said that it’s important to give the chance for upward mobility to those who want it.
King said that they have several administrators both in schools and in the central office that are close to retirement age. He said that being prepared helps to ensure an easy and efficient leadership transition should they need to make changes.
“We expect there to be more retirements in the next five years and that’s kind of the nature of the job too they tend to come into the role later on in their careers,” King said. “And we have several both at the school, principal level and at the central office that are within five, six, seven years of retiring. And as those retirements are happening, we want to have people ready to step in so that we can have a smooth transition both for the school and the community.”
King said that it’s important to have good leaders in central office and in the school system. He said that he tells his principals all the time that the principal’s support is key to success in the classroom both for the students and the teachers.