CASDA Helps Principals Build Their Capacity

September 11, 2017

CASDA works as a capacity builder in Capital Region school districts to support school leaders as they develop the skills to adapt and thrive in a changing educational environment. The CASDA Leadership Coaching Project helps school administrators build their leadership capacity by providing mentorship, perspective and space for reflection. 


For the past three years, the Leadership Coaching Project has enlisted experienced CASDA faculty to serve as mentors and provide support for principals in the Albany City School District. The program has provided confidential, non-evaluative and research-based coaching to more than 25 new and tenured administrators each year. 


 “The program gives administrators access to a veteran administrator who has a lot of knowledge and background in school operations,” said CASDA Program Director Terry Brewer. “This is important because when you are in an administrative position you can often feel isolated or believe that no one else is experiencing what you are, so the coaching process helps create connections and build networking that in turn helps them to realize they are not in it alone.”


The program begins with an orientation that provides the opportunity for administrators and coaches to meet and discuss the goals of the project.  CASDA coaches are then paired with administrators to serve as mentors and provide individualized professional development. This includes at least a one hour coaching session for administrators either once or twice per month as well as additional school leadership sessions throughout the year. Coaches are also available if administrators have questions or need support.


“I believe that coaching has improved my knowledge, skills and perspective as an educational


leader,” said one administrator in the program. “Coaching sessions have helped me better understand communicating and collaborating with all stakeholders in our learning community as well as supporting my colleagues and district initiatives.”


The coaching team consists of 15 faculty members trained by Nancy Andress and Susan Tangoree on the CASDA coaching model. This training is based on the research of Jim Knight from the University of Iowa who developed a partnership approach to coaching as well as that of Elena Aguilar and Karla Reiss. This research-based model helps coaches provide support to practiciing administrators as they strive to meet goals and overcome challenges in tehir school communities. 


In addition to working with Albany City Schools, CASDA coaches have worked in a number of area districts including Averill Park, Schalmont, Schoharie, Troy, Lansingburgh and Schenectady. The program has been instrumental in providing support and embedded professional development to school leaders throughout the Capital Region. 


For information about bringing the CASDA Leadership Coaching Project to your district, please contact us here



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