In 2011, the Kentucky Chamber Foundation and CCL partnered to develop the Leadership Institute for School Principals which provided educators access to high-caliber training. Over the past five years, 255 principals took part in the program with positive results reported in schools across the state.
The job of a school principal is much like that of a CEO. Principals are responsible for bottom-line results, deal with rapid and near-constant change, and need to demonstrate agility in the face of unpredictability. Understanding those challenges, CCL adapted its world-renowned leadership training for top-level educators to form the foundation for Kentucky’s Leadership Institute for School Principals.
Fast forward five years, and today, more than 250 school principals across Kentucky have attended the institute, thanks to generous donations totaling over two million dollars from the state’s business community. This ground-breaking collaboration between business leaders, educators and CCL is paying off in measurable results. According to education analyst Susan Perkins Weston of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, assessments at Kentucky schools led by institute alumni “clearly show schools delivering stronger improvement than the state as a whole.”
When Amy Swiney first attended the Kentucky Leadership Institute for School Principals in 2014, she was an elementary school principal for just under two years. She credits the institute and CCL’s assessments with helping her define her own leadership style. “As a new leader, I had a difficult time delegating and giving up control,” Swiney says. “I was trying to take stress off my staff, but the assessments showed me that my staff thought I didn’t trust them.” Institute classes and coaching by a CCL-certified trainer helped her to understand her own leadership preferences and how to adapt those when needed.
“I still use what I learned in the program every day,” says Swiney, “and I still refer to the materials I received in the program.” Swiney is mindful that funding for the institute relies on the donations from area businesses. “I had seven different companies sponsor my participation and I personally hand wrote each one a thank you note,” she says. “I wanted them to know the impact that this program made on me and my school.”