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AREL's Leaders on School Leadership

Article by Patrick Kobler October 7, 2013 //   4 minute read

This Tuesday and Wednesday, the Bush Institute’s AREL will bring together over 80 leaders in education reform from throughout the country to advance its mission of ensuring there is an effective principal, able to significantly advance student achievement, at the helm of every school.  Leaders attending the convening will include representatives from AREL’s Network, founders of influential nonprofits, policy makers, district superintendents, university directors, and members of the Bush Administration.

AREL Program Director Dr. Kerry Ann Moll sees AREL’s convening as one part of a larger movement to dramatically improve the way our Nation’s principals are prepared and supported. “AREL convenes education leaders from across the country not only to share best practices in education leadership, but also to demonstrate to the country that AREL’s vision to have a well-prepared principal for every child in every school is possible,” says Moll, “This convening will set a tone: school leaders are critical in the lives of our children and to the development of their teachers.” 

Check below to see what AREL’s convening participants are saying about school leadership and AREL’s role in giving our kids the principals they deserve below. Visit the Bush Center blog throughout the week for more profiles and convening updates, and share what AREL’s leaders are saying using #ARELConvenes.

J. Alvin Wilbanks, Chief Executive Officer and Superintendent, Gwinnett County Public Schools

“In any organization, including school districts, everything rises and falls on leadership. Principals must be well-prepared in order to provide the instructional leadership and management oversight that is needed if their schools are to ensure maximum achievement for every student. To be effective, principal leaders must know how to ensure they have teams that are working on the right things and getting the desired results. AREL is trying to push forward that kind of preparation for principals and we are pleased to be a participant in AREL’s important work.”

Jessica Zander, Senior Managing Director of Alumni Affairs, Teach For America

“There is a strong link between educational leadership and student achievement.  A great school leader sets the expectation that there will be excellent instruction and a culture of ongoing learning for the educators and for the students in the school. The design and implementation of these foundational aspects are defined by our transformative leaders.”


Cheryl Pulliam, Director, School Executive Leadership Academy, Queens University of Charlotte

“Research indicates that in addition to effective teachers, the school leader is the most important component in improving student achievement in a school.  We know the role of a principal is not what it was even ten years ago; therefore we asked ourselves why should principal preparation be the same.  We believe the answer is that it shouldn’t be the same.  As we looked around we found that most traditional preparation programs were not meeting the current needs of our aspiring leaders.  Thus our School Executive Leadership Academy was born to guide our participants in increasing their leadership knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective school executive today.  We aren’t our father’s principal preparation program.”