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Program looks to groom educational leaders from within

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (July 20, 2009) -- SUNY Plattsburgh is striving to grow administrators locally and is doing so with the help of educational leaders already in the field.The Educational Leadership Program is an initiative that brings teachers and administrators together to help build school leaders. According to Dr. David Hill, dean of education, health and human services, teachers and administrators who have the potential to be good school leaders are given the chance to explore leadership through participation in the program.

The program requires a hands-on administrative internship with a minimum of 400 hours completed at the end of a student's coursework. Interns are matched with a highly experienced school leader, who serves as an administrative mentor and helps them fulfill 32 competencies - all of which are necessary for success as a building leader in today's public school setting.

"It's a year-round experience, from the opening to the closing of school," Hill said. "They receive first-hand experience and involvement in as many aspects as possible, from budgeting to public relations, from meeting with the media to developing handbooks."

"As highly experienced school leaders, our administrative mentors serve as role models and teachers to the intern on a 24/7 basis. Throughout the year, mentors, interns and the SUNY Plattsburgh internship field supervisor evaluate the intern's performance, helping them to become effective school leaders," said Dr. Steven Black, a lecturer in educational leadership/CAS with the SUNY Plattsburgh branch campus.

"The administrative mentor plays a major role in the overall success of the SUNY Plattsburgh Educational Leadership Program," said Black. "During their year together, mentors provide their interns with experiences designed to have them learn the practical, day-to-day operation of a public school."

"What we have tried to do in moving the program forward is to engage as many practitioners as possible was instructors, advisers and mentors in field placements," Hill said. "Happily, we've had some wonderful principals step up and provide those experiences. We're really appreciative of what the mentor teachers do with our students. Without them, we couldn't run a quality program. As always, the bottom line on quality is that we want our program graduates to have a positive impact on children's education."

Teachers and administrators who completed their internships and earned their CAS in May include:

  • Deborah Roddy, an educator with the Adirondack ARC in Franklin County. Roddy, who interned during the 2008-2009 school year at Bloomingdale Elementary School with its principal, Patrick Hogan, as her mentor.
  • Kathleen Hannan, a teacher within the New York State Department of Corrections, worked with Daniel Starr, superintendent of schools in the Corinth Central School District.
  • Molly Towne, a special education teacher at the Shenendehowa High School West, worked with Dorothy Donlon, associate principal.
  • Pamela Motler, an assistant principal within the Ballston Spa Central School District, interned with Dr. Joseph Dragone, Ballston Spa's superintendent of schools.
  • Sherrie Moses, director of the Queensbury Union Free School District Pupil Personnel Department, interned with Theresa Middleton, assistant superintendent of schools.
  • Lori Ranze, a teacher at the Pinewood Intermediate School in the Mohonasen Central School District, worked with her principal and mentor, Michele Hunter.
  • Stephen Gratto, principal in the Northeastern Clinton Central School District, worked with his superintendent and administrative mentor, Peter Turner.
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