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L4L & Danforth Updates

L4L Update

L4L Cohort 4 student Shari Farris had an article published in the October 2011 issue of the Journal of Staff Development, based on work she completed as part of the Leadership for Learning program curriculum.  The article chronicles her experiences shadowing a student in her school, and the systems-wide learning that came out of the experience.   The piece is titled “In Yasir’s Shoes: A principal gains insight by shadowing an English Language Learner Student.”

Shari is a former principal in the Spokane School District; she is now the new Faculty Chair for Early Childhood Education at Vanguard University.

L4L Cohort 4 student Kareen Borders was selected as one of 16 Teaching Ambassador Fellows for the 2011-2012 academic year.  Kareen currently works in the Peninsula School District as an aerospsace and life science teacher at Key Peninsula Middle School.

Read Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s press release»


Kenny Renner-Singer, L4L Cohort 4 student and principal of Icicle River Middle School in the Cascade School District, recently received accolades from the Center for Educational Effectiveness. Icicle River once again received the School of Distinction Award, which honors Washington’s highest improving schools.  This statewide achievement award has been given for seven years; under the leadership of Renner-Singer, Icicle River has been recognized for six of these years as a top distinguished school.

Read More»


Danforth Cohort  23 Alumni

We are pleased to announce new leadership placements for our new Danforth 23 Alumni.  Of the 28 members of our Spring 2011 graduating cohort, 19 have been placed in new leadership roles for the 2011-2012 school year.  Placements include 6 principals; 11 assistant principals; and 2 other administrative leadership roles. 

While final statistics are still pending for 2011 placement rates among graduates of Washington principal preparation programs, Danforth has consistently ranked top in the state. 

See list of 2011 Danforth placements»

Two of our Danforth 23 alum were featured in an article highlighting new principals in the Lake Washington School District.  Read more about Karen Barker, principal of Emily Dickinson Elementary, and Kirsten McArdle, principal of Norman Rockwell Elementary:


Kathy Kimball, as chair of the Washington Council of  Educational Administration Programs (WCEAP),  will be presenting next week to the Professional Education Standards Board (PESB) on the topic of statewide common assessments for principal preparation programs.

Margery Ginsberg will present a session at this year’s UCEA conference on innovative approaches to instructional renewal.  This presentation draws closely from the course design and experiences of L4L Cohort 4 students in the Leadership for Learning program’s Instructional Renewal Module, which Margery co-taught with Mike Knapp and Camille Farrington.


On Wednesday, December 7th (8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.), eight members of our current L4L 4 cohort, along with faculty member Dr. Margery Ginsberg, will present a pre-conference session for the Washington Educational Research Association (WERA) state conference in Seattle.  The session features work from different instructional modules within the L4L program, and is a great way for prospective students, college faculty and staff alike to learn firsthand about the program curriculum and on-the-ground experiences of our doctoral students.

Generating Data That Motivates Instructional Change: Lessons from Leaders
(Margery Ginsberg, Associate Professor, University of Washington, and UW Doctoral Students:  Kimberlee Armstrong, Susie Askew, Amy Baeder, Ailene Baxter, Anthony Craig, Shari Farris, Tim Fries and Tasha Lewis) 

This session explores how to use data to influence the improvement of instruction - what kind, how much, where to collect and communicate it, and when to do so.  Come learn from doctoral students who, as educational leaders, have developed ways to use data to motivate instructional change.  Examples include tracking the progress of students with failing grades, shadowing students in special programs, and designing a cycle of inquiry to suport English Language Learners.  The session provides handouts for clear-minded implementation in your own setting.

Come see our Leadership for Learning students in action!  You can learn more about the event at www.wera-web.org.


Margery Ginsberg has been invited to deliver the keynote address for Oklahoma's Reach Higher Conference.  Her speech, entitled "Enhancing Adult Motivation and Learning in Accelerated Formats"  is for staff and faculty at 14 community colleges and 9 state universities with A.A. and B.A. degree completion programs for adult learners.


Rob MacGregor, L4L Cohort 4 student, is the new superintendent of the Kelso School District.  His appointment began July 1, and Rob is well underway with his first year in Kelso.  MacGregor most recently served as Assistant Superintendent for the Renton School District.

Read More»


Terese Emry, L4L Cohort 4 student, is the new Executive Director of Teaching & Learning for Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD).


Robyn Wiens, L4L Cohort 4 student, is now an Assistant Principal at Chinook Middle School in the Highline School District.


The Danforth Program is currently recruiting for its 25th Cohort.  On November 1, Danforth Interim Director Spencer Welch met with sixteen aspiring educational leaders at the Bellevue Educational Service Center (ESC).  Hosted in conjunction with the Bellevue School District, Welch shared information about the Danforth Program as well as the role of the school principal.  Similar sessions are in the works at other area school districts.


The Leadership for Learning Program  (L4L) is also recruiting, for its 5th cohort scheduled to begin July 2012.  Faculty have been meeting with prospective candidates while simultaneously shepherding current L4L cohort 4 students through the final year of the program.  The incoming Cohort 5 will be the first group to fully engage in extensive program revisions that began with L4L cohort 4.  Both cohorts will complete a capstone portfolio that bridges doctoral scholarship with critical skills and experiences needed by practicing systems leaders, including authentic problems of practice, inquiry-driven decision making, and innovative strategies for the ongoing improvement of teaching and learning.

This model of deeply relevant and authentic work, embedded in students’ current job sites, is expected to not only maximize student learning, but to also increase doctoral degree completion rates.  Across, its first three cohorts, the Leadership for Learning Program boasts a 76% completion of the Doctorate of Education degree, with an additional 11% of students continuing their studies toward completion.  Currently, doctoral students in L4L Cohort 4 are on-track for an 88% completion rate by June 2012.  They will present their capstone leadership portfolios for peer review in March, April, and May 2012.

Leadership for Learning (L4L) doctora

l students presented two pre-conference sessions at the 26th Annual State Assessment Conference hosted by the Washington Educational Research Association (WERA) and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).   The presentations were entitled:

  •  "Generating Data that Motivates Instructional Change: Lessons for Leaders" (Dr. Margery Ginsberg with doctoral students Kimberlee Armstrong, Anthony Craig, Susie Askew, Tim Fries, and Amy Baeder)
  • "The Superintendent’s Challenge: Leading for Learning During" (Linda Quinn, Superintendent of Ferndale School District).  

Leadership for Learning students also led concurrent sessions entitled:

  • Ferrucci Junior High: Closing the Achievement Gap (Ailene Baxter, Principal, Ferrucci Junior High, Puyallup School District)
  • "Assessing and Valuing Teacher Learning" (Tasha Lewis, School Improvement Consulting Teacher, Seattle Public Schools)

 "Lesson Study: Developing Capacity While Assessing Teaching and Learning" (Amy Baeder, Secondary Science Coach, Teacher Education Program, University of Washington).  

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