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New “Great Schools, Great Leaders” Initiative Promotes School Leadership Training

Posted on: September 29, 2016

Governor Doug Ducey announced Thursday the launch of the “Great Schools, Great Leaders” initiative and a $100,000 investment in the creation of the Beat the Odds School Leadership Academy in partnership with the National Institute for School Leadership that will expand Arizona’s commitment to educational excellence.

The new “Great Schools, Great Leaders” initiative aims to recognize and bring awareness to the link between great school leaders and great schools, a key focus of which will be to improve the quality of education that low-income students receive in Arizona.

“There is no question that great schools are led by great leaders,” Governor Ducey said. “This initiative recognizes the critical link between a strong principal, a strong teacher, and student achievement. It is my hope that, through our partnership with the Center for the Future of Arizona, the Helios Foundation, and the Burton Family Foundation, we can unlock the potential in all public schools in Arizona, especially in those communities where students will most benefit from strong leadership.

The Beat the Odds School Leadership Academy is a nationally-researched, locally-delivered, and sustainable Arizona-based program. Its work is based on the most rigorous and widely-used professional development program for school leaders in the country: the National Institute for School Leadership’s Executive Development Program.

“The Great Schools, Great Leaders initiative is an example of how education, government and philanthropy can work together on behalf of students,” Paul J. Luna, President and CEO of Helios Education Foundation, said. “The most important variable in a student’s success is the quality of the teacher in the classroom and the leadership in the school. By helping bring this nationally recognized school leadership training to Arizona, we are helping provide more school leaders with professional development that will help increase student achievement.”

The Governor’s Office will partner with the Center for the Future of Arizona, the Helios Foundation, and the Burton Family Foundation, emphasizing Governor Ducey’s commitment to strengthening the relationship between public investments and partnerships with the philanthropic community.

“The Center for the Future of Arizona has long recognized the critical link between a strong principal and student success,” Dr. Lattie Coor, Chairman and CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona, said. “In keeping with this belief, the Beat the Odds Institute has been mentoring and training Arizona K-12 principals for nearly a decade. As we enhance the program with the establishment of the Beat the Odds School Leadership Academy in partnership with the National Institute for School Leadership, we look forward to bringing high quality training to an even larger number of principals in the future. We appreciate Governor Ducey’s leadership on this initiative, as well as his willingness to provide resources to the program. With his support, and that of the Helios Education Foundation and the Burton Family Foundation, we have the opportunity to significantly improve the lives of principals, teachers, students, and ultimately families throughout the state of Arizona.”

"The Burton Family Foundation is delighted to support this collaborative effort of the Center for the Future of Arizona, Helios Education Foundation and the State of Arizona,” Christy Burton, co-founder of the Burton Family Foundation, said. “There is a strong connection between great school leaders, effective teachers and successful students, and we’re excited about the Leadership Academy’s potential for enhancing all three for the betterment of education in Arizona.”

Governor Ducey will consider future strategic investments to support the funding of training slots for Arizona school leaders.

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