CASDA introduced the Greater Capital Region Principals’ Center in 1985 to serve as “a dynamic professional resource for area school administrators.” Throughout its history, the Center has worked to create “a network for tapping professional knowledge so that the exceptional strengths of those principals in the field can be utilized as resources to help others.” Through its clear focus on collaboration and exchange, the Center has been able to help principals, assistant principals and teachers meet the constantly evolving challenges facing educators while remaining faithful to its founding vision.
Each summer, the Principals’ Center Board meets to set the agenda for the year. Nancy Andress, CASDA’s representative to the board since 2008, explained that “the New School Leaders event in the fall allows teachers and Assistant Principals who aspire to be school administrators to connect with currently serving Principals.” The event aims to present clear information on school leadership and provide a forum for networking and collegial discussion. Ms. Andress explained that “sitting principals will often become mentors for aspiring leaders and allow them to ‘shadow’ them for a school day.” Cultivating relationships between motivated professional educators is essential to the Center’s mission. These connections provide guidance and support for aspiring principals as they advance into leadership positions. Most importantly, however, they facilitate reciprocal, reflective dialog on professional learning and school leadership practices.
Each spring, the Principals’ Center hosts a professional development event highlighting issues in education and administration. Panel discussions, seminar presentations and small group dialog examine areas of the principalship such as teacher evaluation, instructional leadership and communication with parents and faculty. The information shared during this event exposes prospective leaders to practices that will empower them to grow into effective leaders of their school communities.
At CASDA’s Annual Capital Region Education Awards Dinner, the Principals’ Center Board presents the Capital Region Principal of the Year Award to a principal whose outstanding leadership embodies the organization’s mission and values. The honor recognizes the dedication of its recipient and celebrates the unique role of the principal in shaping school communities. The 2017 Principal of the Year will be announced on April 12th at the Annual Capital Region Education Awards Dinner. Nominations for this year’s award will be accepted until March 3rd.
The Greater Capital Region Principals’ Center’s mission, to recruit and nurture effective new administrators, educate and empower through the sharing of best practices and celebrate dedicated leadership remains as vital today as it was more than thirty years ago. The values of dialog, fellowship and mutual support ensure that the organization will remain an essential resource to educators for years to come.