Effective public school leadership requires more than professional knowledge. It demands passion, the ability to articulate a vision and engage others in that vision, and the ability to facilitate organizational change.
To strengthen these capabilities among Vermont educators, the Snelling Center developed the Vermont School Leadership Project (VSLP) in collaboration with prominent members of Vermont’s business and education communities. VSLP was launched in 1995 and has graduated 11 classes, creating a collegial leadership network of over 200 alumni.
In 18 seminar days, held over 17 months (July to November of the following year), VSLP offers intensive professional development for superintendents, principals, curriculum and special education directors, as well as other education professionals who have proven leadership abilities and seriously aspire to leadership roles.
Through theoretical discussions, experiential activities, and personal reflection, VSLP Associates consider concepts related to education systems, organizational change and leadership. During the second year of the program, Associates apply and integrate new information through a transformation initiative conducted at their work site. The program offers re-licensure credits only. VSLP faculty are esteemed educators, dedicated to Vermont and developing transformational leaders.
Valerie Gardner, Snelling board member emerita and former principal of Champlain Valley Union High School, is the director of the Vermont School Leadership Project.