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DC Schools Chancellor, Georgetown Offer Executive Leadership Program to Principals

Kaya Henderson

"I am thrilled that we have partnered with Georgetown's McDonough School of Business, one of the best in the country, to create an innovative program that will enhance our principals' leadership skills and strengthen DCPS' human capital efforts," says D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson (F’92, G’07).

January 14, 2013 – The university and District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Kaya Henderson (SFS’92, G’07) will announce tomorrow that 25 principals in the city will soon begin a tailored version of Georgetown’s Executive Master’s in Leadership (EML) program.

Henderson, who graduated from Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business’ EML program in 2007, has emerged as one of the District’s most important leaders, charged with the education of 45,000 children in the nation’s capital.

She will join Georgetown President John J. DeGioia, Georgetown McDonough Dean David A. Thomas and Paul Almeida, McDonough’s senior associate dean for executive education, in announcing the program at a launch event the evening of Jan. 15.

The program begins Jan. 25 and ends in December 2013.

Leadership Matters

“We know that in order to provide D.C. students with a world-class education, leadership matters,” Henderson says. “In addition to recruiting the best school leaders in the country to do this challenging work, we must support their professional growth and development.”

“I am thrilled that we have partnered with Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, one of the best in the country, to create an innovative program that will enhance our principals’ leadership skills and strengthen DCPS’ human capital efforts,” she adds. “Together, we are making an investment not only in the futures of the principals, but in the future of DCPS.”

Classes will be held every other weekend on Fridays and Saturdays at Georgetown McDonough and at D.C. schools, with graduation planned for December 2013. Graduates will earn the EML degree from Georgetown.

“The students will spend some weekends on Georgetown’s campus for class and some weekends at DCPS locations where the faculty will come to them,” Almeida explains. “We want to get the faculty out in the community to see what the principals experience.

High-Quality Education

The principals, who will attend orientation on Jan. 15 and be welcomed at the launch event, are from elementary, middle and high schools throughout the District. One principal is from the District’s Incarcerated Youth Program.

The DCPS EML program, which will be subsidized for the principals, is part of Georgetown’s mission to enhance the impact of the university and better serve the needs of the city.

“We are grateful to Chancellor Henderson for her dedication to this program,” DeGioia says. “Georgetown is proud to play a role in ensuring that DCPS principals are best prepared for the challenges and opportunities that arise in educating our city's children.”

Part of Service Mission

The DCPS Executive Master’s in Leadership is just one way in which Georgetown is extending its educational and service mission – another example is the construction of a new space at the intersection of 7th St. near the Gallery Place/Chinatown neighborhood for the university’s School of Continuing Studies.

DCPS, Georgetown and other donors have come together to help underwrite the program, providing greater access to the distinctive Executive Master’s in Leadership and supporting the concept that everyone should have access to a quality education.

Teaching Leadership

The EML has been slightly adapted to serve the professional development needs of the District’s principals, who work within a large, urban public school system.

Created with the belief that the core of leadership development is personal development, the participants will receive executive coaching and graduate with a personal leadership action plan.

Highlights of the curriculum include:

  • Identifying the roles of passion and purpose as central to leadership to achieve success
  • Understanding the practical skills to meet leadership challenges
  • Effectively dealing with uncertainty
  • Improving motivational speaker skills
  • Successfully engaging in difficult conversations
  • Understanding and managing stakeholder relationships
  • Building trust and credibility as a leader

“The DCPS Executive Master’s in Leadership curriculum will provide a strong foundation for this group of principals as they continue to elevate the D.C. public school system,” Thomas said. “At Georgetown McDonough, we believe the world needs leaders to be in service to both business and society, and this program provides the opportunity for Georgetown and DCPS to make a significant difference in the community.”

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