State seeks school leaders for first Indiana Principal Leadership class

By John Sittler

INDIANAPOLIS – Applications became available Monday for the inaugural class of the Indiana Principal Leadership Institute, a two-year experience focused on improving Indiana’s public school principals by emphasizing student success.

Principals will be given opportunities to improve their schools in areas such as teacher evaluation models, student performance, community involvement and shaping a strong school culture.

Fifty principals are invited to participate in the first class, which will begin July 17.

The principals will be expected to attend five seminars each of the two years they are in the institute. They will also have “mentors” – respected educators from their community.

During the seminars, the principals will work in small groups to accomplish a variety of tasks including and implementing personal and school improvement plans, facilitating action research projects at each school, refining school improvement plans and building a network of other principals to gain support during and beyond the institute.

Steve Gruenert, chair of educational leadership in the Bayh College of Education, said the ultimate goal of the institute is to improve schools.

“Using an approach that is collaborative, research-based and results-oriented, we have a tremendous opportunity to take the skills of our Hoosier educators to the next level, which will have a significant impact on children of our state,” he said.

School corporations will pay a one-time fee of $1,000 for their principal to participate. The principal must then be nominated. Nominating a principal implies the superintendent and school board think the principal has to potential to improve their school, are supportive of positive change in the school and will allow data collection to occur.

The institute was created this spring by General Assembly through legislation authored by Sens. Jim Banks, R-Columbia City, and Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn.

John Sittler is a reporter for, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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