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Clinical assistant professor to serve on statewide principal leadership initiative

Kathryn Kao

March 4, 2019

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Karen Bryant, a clinical assistant professor in the department of lifelong education, administration and policy, was recently selected to serve on the Advancing Inclusive Principal Leadership Initiative, a statewide team sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Karen Bryant

The main goal of the initiative is to integrate inclusive principal leadership in policies and practices across the principal pipeline continuum and to prepare and develop leaders with the knowledge and skills to more effectively serve students with disabilities.

"In our principal preparation programs in the College of Education, we have learned that collaboration with partner schools, districts and state agencies is essential for preparing effective leaders for all students," said Bryant. "When we work together, we strengthen the development of both aspiring and practicing principals."

The Georgia team, which is focused on preparing and developing leaders, consists of representatives from the Georgia Department of Education, K-12 school districts and principal preparation programs.

Bryant will work with colleagues in Georgia and across the nation to develop programs and policies to ensure all principals, both old and new, receive professional development to better support teachers of students with disabilities. Her responsibilities will include:

  • Developing a definition of a learner-ready principal who incorporates inclusive and culturally responsive leadership practices, mindsets and behaviors
  • Providing resources and materials that support inclusive and culturally responsive principal leadership practices
  • Identifying schools and/or districts that model successful inclusive leadership practice
  • Facilitating research-practice partnerships to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of professional learning offerings, particularly around advancing effective inclusive principal leadership

"Working with this initiative will help us prepare principals to meet the needs of students with disabilities," said Bryant, who researches collaborative partnerships between school districts and educator preparation programs, as well as action research as a tool to prepare effective scholar-practitioner leaders. "We are striving to weave elements of disability justice, equity and inclusion into all educational leadership courses."