“I think Emerging Leaders has given us exposure to different caveats of administration. Sometimes it’s good to get outside of the realm you’re used to and into different areas of expertise.”
Leadership development is a critical factor for any successful organization. A school system just like Dalton Public Schools is no exception. For many years, prospective teachers who have had a desire to go into administration have participated in a number of professional development programs. This year as part of the strategic plan, Dalton Public Schools launched a program called Emerging Leaders, focusing on assistant principals and teachers who aspire to learn about district leadership.
The idea for Emerging Leaders began when Dr. Tim Scott, superintendent, had a vision for a program that would help prospective leaders and teachers learn about the distinct roles throughout the district.
Emerging Leaders was officially introduced at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year. The group meets on a monthly basis during the school year.
For the program, each district level department provides an overview about their specific work. The presentations allow existing and aspiring leaders to learn about what district administration and leadership looks like.
As of right now, the communications, data, human resources and technology departments have presented. The objective of the presentations is to have leaders and potential leaders sit in conversations about the district that they are usually not involved in. Furthermore, it provides a new source of exposure about how decisions are made and what it's like to be in an administrative position.
Chief Human Resources Officer Mendy Woods coordinates the Emerging Leaders Program. She said this program is important, and hopes the prospective leaders are gaining valuable information.
"The central idea is that they will get a broader perspective of what district leadership looks like," Woods said. "If they become an assistant principal or principal one day, they will be responsible for everything that goes on in that building, but part of that is being part of the bigger mission and vision of Dalton Public Schools."
As for Veronica Vital, a teacher at Park Creek, she appreciates the joint efforts leaders put forth in the district to create a harmonious environment.
"Collaboration has been a huge benefit," Vital said. "It's important to know the diversity within our students and how we can from learn and hear from other great leaders in the district to be able to take that back to my school."
For Dalton Middle School's Assistant Principal Brandon Headrick, the ability to step out of his comfort zone has been a major take away from this program.
"I think Emerging Leaders has given us exposure to different caveats of administration," Headrick said. "Sometimes it's good to get outside of the realm you're used to and into different areas of expertise."
Headrick recognized the importance of attending the Emerging Leaders program. He acknowledged the district's efforts to help them hone and develop their skills as existing and future leaders.
"It's really fun and the big element here is that there is a lot of work that needs to be done, but that's the thing I appreciate," Headrick said. "We're all growing as professionals together and making connections."