Educational Leadership

Educational Leadership


IMPACTS:  All Educational Aspirations

25% of a student’s educational success relies on the quality of the educational leadership of the school administrator.  This means that the school principal is the second most important school influence to student success, after high quality teaching.  For the past year, LAUNCH Flagstaff has built foundational relationships between The Flagstaff Unified School District (FUSD), local charter schools, early childhood educators, Northern Arizona University (NAU), and the Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) to create the first cohort of administrators and aspiring administrators in the Beat the Odds (BTO) educational leadership academy in the Flagstaff area.

In addition to improving the school climate for student success, the intention of LAUNCH Flagstaff in this effort is to build collaborative, collegial relationships among educational leaders across the community.  We believe that strengthening these relationships will help to break-down existing silos between individuals, schools and organizations.

Accomplishments to date:

  • Established a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between NAU and CFA for granting 6 graduate credits toward a Master’s Degree in Education and Administrator Certification or toward a Doctorate in Education and Superintendent Certification after completing BTO. The Flagstaff cohort will be the first to model this new arrangement and subsequent cohorts across Arizona will also benefit from this MOU.
  • Received scholarship funding from GEAR-UP for a 50% reduction in tuition costs to schools and districts for participating in the first Flagstaff area cohort of BTO.
  • Obtained commitments from FUSD, charter schools, Coconino County ESA, and NAU for participation in the first Flagstaff cohort.
  • Cohort began the program in June 2019

The BTO academy has provided the CCESA with the foundation for questioning the status quo in education systems and current professional development models for educators. If we are asking our educational leaders and teachers to be strategic and apply the science behind learning, it starts with professional development and coaching that systemically models the science behind learning.   – Cheryl Mango-Paget, Associate Superintendent of Schools, Coconino County

As a person who works with learners of all ages, the impact is profound when it comes to how we learn.  Having an understanding that you need to acknowledge an individual learners preconceptions about a particular topic, the learning topic needs to be based in the facts and it has to have a personal impact and relevance in order for deep learning to occur.  Using these fundamentals when designing short and long term learning  have been very valuable as an educator. – Deidre Crawley, RSVP Coordinator Senior, Civic Service Institute at Northern Arizona University

I am looking forward to increased connections and relationships with other leaders in Flagstaff, to developing my own leadership capacity and to be on the journey with Mountain School’s principal so that we can lead even more effectively as a team.  In the first unit, I appreciated going from a global perspective and the comparison of the United State’s systems to other, higher performing countries and then narrowing the focus and bringing it back to our own small spheres-what can we do in our schools right now to improve education, despite the limitations and lack of funding in our state?  I left feeling hopeful and empowered, even though the expectations and challenges are many.   – Vanessa Fitz-Kesler, Executive Director, Mountain School

It is exciting to be receiving the tools of change in this program with the collaboration of an amazing cohort of school leaders. The knowledge and skill brought together by this this diverse leadership cohort along with the NISL course allows for rich discussions and learning, which I feel will lead to a shared vision that will benefit all children in the Flagstaff area. – Tracy Braatz, Director, The PEAK School

Remaining work:

  • Generate additional financial support from Flagstaff area business leaders
  • Measure the impact on participants effectiveness in their schools/classrooms and the impact on student achievement

Convened in Collaboration with:




Event Location Sponsors:

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