The Arkansas Leadership Academy has announced that Dr. Kirk Freeman, principal of Northwood Middle School in North Little Rock, has completed the final phase of the Master Principal Institute.
Established in 1991, the Arkansas Leadership Academy is a nationally recognized, statewide partnership of 13 universities, nine professional associations; 15 educational cooperatives, the Arkansas Departments of Education, higher education, the Department of Workforce Education, the Arkansas Educational Television Network, Tyson Foods, Inc; Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and the Walton Family Foundation.
“This has been an awesome experience,” Freeman said. “The Master Principal’s Institute has provided the most essential resources and a powerful network of professionals to empower administrators to implement effective strategies and best practices. Northwood Middle School is committed to work as a team to help each child be successful in school. Our motto is reaching every student, every minute, every day.”
The Master Principal program was established by the Arkansas 84th General Assembly in the Second Extraordinary Session of 2003 and signed into law as Act 44 by the governor. It is a comprehensive, three-phased program. Selection for Phase I participants is based on responses to questions on the application and on achieving a state-wide balance using demographic information.
After successful completion of Phase I, the principal may choose to submit an application for Phase II. Admission to the second phase of the program requires submission of a portfolio documenting the application of the lessons learned from the first phase and the results of that work to improve student and adult learning in that school.
To be admitted to the third phase, principals must complete a rigorous portfolio application process that includes evidence of their impact on education at the district, state and local levels. These portfolios are evaluated by stakeholders in education from Arkansas, as well as from across the nation. Portfolio scorers receive training through the Arkansas Leadership Academy.
After successful completion of all three phases, principals are eligible to apply for Master Principal designation. Principals will be evaluated on student performance, principal performance, and school performance through a portfolio application and possible school site visit.
Dr. Jerry Guess, superintendent of the Pulaski County Special School District, said he is proud of Freeman’s commitment to the district, his school and its students and teachers. “This program makes principals better, but it requires hard work and a dedication to excellence. We are proud of Dr. Freeman’s accomplishment,” he said.