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Leadership Development Unit
850 Hungerford Drive, Room 162
Rockville 20850

Jeanie Dawson, Director of Leadership Development Unit

Staff Directory 

Leadership Development Program

Overview of the Leadership Development Program

Our Proactive Approach
leadershipMontgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has taken a proactive approach in developing school leaders. MCPS has adopted a structured and sequential Leadership Development Program (LDP) that culminates with the preparation of highly skillful leaders who possess the necessary attitude, knowledge, and skills to meet the ever changing demands of the principalship.

Assistant Principal (AP) Pool
The program begins with a recruitment effort at the teacher level via a series of Future Administrators Workshops. These workshops qualify candidates to enter the assistant principal eligibility pool.

Assistant School Administrator (ASA)
It is also possible that some aspiring administrators begin the profession as an Assistant School Administrator (ASA), an eleven-month position that carries similar responsibilities to those of an assistant principal.

Both roads lead to a more structured program, designed to ensure the administrator’s effectiveness and to reduce the variability in the training and development of school-based administrators.

The LDP includes five levels of training and support: ASA, AP1, AP2, Principal Intern, and first-year Principal. At the conclusion of the AP2 year, the AP candidate is formally appointed as an assistant principal and may apply to continue in the program as a principal intern.

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Assistant Principal (AP) Promotion Pool Requirements

MCPS is looking for motivated, dedicated, skillful, and creative people to become school-based administrators. Research shows that effective school administrators play a critical role in the success of schools and their students. Ideal candidates include teacher leaders who support student achievement in the classroom, provided professional development to other teachers, and/or developed curriculum and programs. Basic requirements for the AP pool include:

  1. One year of experience in a school-based leadership position
  2. Five years of successful teaching experience
  3. Completion of the Future Administrators Workshop (FAW) series. Candidates must attend all sessions
  4. Copy of most recent evaluation
  5. Résumé
  6. Letter of interest, including level (e.g., elementary, middle, or high), addressed to the Associate Superintendent, Office of Human Resources and Development
  7. Three references
  8. Verification of A&S Administrator I certificate
  9. Certificate showing completion of Observing and Analyzing Teaching I (OAT 1), along with the score received. Registration is on Professional Development Online (PDO) for courses beginning in the fall. Candidates who have already completed OAT 1 prior to January 1, 2015 should contact the Skillful Teaching and Leading Team (301-840-6740) for information about becoming recertified in OAT 1.

Recertification Process for Observing and Analyzing Teaching I (OAT 1)

  • OAT recertification sessions will be posted on PDO. The session will require you to observe a class with an OAT instructor and submit a full post-observation conference report of the observation.
  • The OAT recertification sessions are purposefully scheduled to allow time for writing, submitting, receiving feedback and revising the reports prior to the due date for the AP pool application.

Future Administrators Workshop (FAW) Series

The FAW workshop series is offered every fall of each school year.

Attendance at the four-session FAW series is a requirement for entering the Assistant Principal (AP) Promotion Pool and is open to all school and central services staff interested in becoming school-based administrators. The workshop series provides an overview of what MCPS is looking for in its leaders, explains requirements for admission into the AP Promotion Pool, prepares candidates for the interview process, and describes the MCPS Leadership Development Program. Assistant School Administrators who can verify experience of at least one full year and who attended the required Assistant School Administrator seminars will receive a Future Administrators Workshop certificate. The FAW certificate is valid for three years.

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  • The Office of Human Resources and Development (OHRD) will accept applications for the AP/ASA Promotion Pool beginning in October and ending in January.
  • To apply for the AP/ASA eligibility pool, candidates must look for the posting of the AP/ASA Pool Requisition on during the application window.
  • Once admitted into the pool, AP/ASA candidates may only remain for three years.

For specific information regarding certification, email Ms. Marie Bercaw.

For answers to questions about the FAW series, contact Mr. Gary Bartee director of elementary leadership training, Dr. Monifa McKnight director of secondary leadership training, or Ms. Susan M. Beckwith by email or by calling 301-279-8440.

For information about OAT classes, please contact the Skillful Teaching and Leading Team at 301-840-6740.

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Leadership Development Program for Central Services Administrators and Business/Operations Administrators

The MCPS Leadership Development Program for central services administrators and business/operations administrators will begin a new cohort in January 2018. Participants in the first cohort have gained invaluable knowledge and skills about leadership and management. In the words of one of the administrators in the program this year, “Every supervisor should take this course.” 


The goal of the program is to enable administrators to better meet the challenges of their current positions, while also preparing them for future promotional opportunities. The program will parallel the leadership development program for school-based leaders.

More information is available here.  

The program includes activities organized to give participants an opportunity to discuss and apply leadership theories in their current administrative positions. Seminars and application sessions will be the primary vehicles for knowledge acquisition and innovation. The program is offered in two phases with six full-day monthly seminars each. The morning session is devoted to the review and discussion of current research on topics related to executive leadership and management practices. The afternoon session will be a Leadership Practice Community, where participants will share best practices and engage in problem-solving activities.

Seminar topics include: Fundamental Principles of Leadership and Management: Team Building Activities, Self-Assessment Inventories; Strategic Planning and Execution: Leadership in the 21st Century; Organization and Time Management: Increasing Efficiency and Productivity; Coaching Employees to High Performance; The Customer Experience: Providing Quality Services to Our Clients, Leading Change Effectively, Project Management, Budget Development, Data-Driven Leadership, and Equity and Excellence in the Workplace.

An informational/recruitment workshop will be held mid-November 2018 at the Carver Educational Services Center (CESC), 850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, in the 162 Training Room to answer questions and clarify the program requirements. Attendance is not required to apply. For additional information, contact Mr. Gary Bartee director of elementary leadership training at 301-279-8440.

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