New Leaders

Great leaders = Great schools TM

Your turn to lead?

Check to see if you are eligible to apply to our programs.

Why we do what we do

Learn more about why leadership matters in transforming schools and students' lives.

Watch the video >>


What will it take to transform teachers into true leaders?

Our new report >>

Aspiring Principals Program

Our flagship program trains tomorrow’s principals to turn around underperforming schools and the lives of the students who attend them. The people who join our program share a deep belief that all students can achieve at high levels – that demography is not destiny for children if the adults can get it right.

Our New Leader principals are diverse, but they share a belief that all students can achieve at a high level and they are deeply dedicated to making that vision a reality, especially for those children being poorly served in their schools today.

We seek outstanding current and former educators who demonstrate:

  • The drive and dedication to transform an underperforming public school
  • A firm belief that effective leadership practices have a direct impact on academic performance
  • Instructional expertise in a K-12 classroom
  • A commitment to making a real difference in the lives of students from low-income communities

Our Approach

The Aspiring Principals Program starts with intensive summer training, but the heart of the experience is a yearlong Residency where participants work alongside and learn from a high-performing principal. Residents lead a school team, serve on the school’s Instructional Leadership Team and have direct responsibility for raising student achievement by developing teachers and advancing school-wide goals.

Residents also benefit from expert on-the-job coaching by successful former school leaders on New Leaders’ staff, and they attend training sessions where they are able to share what they’ve learned, reflect on challenges and discuss best practices with peers in the program.

Focus for Learning

A key difference between New Leaders’ training and more traditional preparation programs is that all learning is grounded in real-world practice and oriented mastering leadership skills proven to advance student learning. While instructional leadership is the centerpiece of our curriculum, participants also master the adult, personal, cultural and operational leadership skills needed to build a strong school culture and lead their entire staff toward classroom excellence.

Ongoing Support

After completing their Residency, New Leaders staff prepare graduates who are taking the helm of a school to develop a thoughtful entry plan that includes collecting data from stakeholders, aligning staff around a common vision, setting student achievement targets, and establishing high standards for both the adults and students in the building.

Newly-placed principals also benefit from one-to-two years of early career support delivered in the form of a structured, expertly facilitated professional learning network. Under the guidance of New Leaders staff, network participants collaborate to refine their leadership skills and advance student learning. Network members meet monthly for several hours and also stay connected virtually to provide each other with ongoing feedback and support.

All Aspiring Principals graduates also join a network of 800 New Leaders’ alumni across the country and have access to a wide range of resources and support, including:

  • Professional development workshops at the national level
  • Local professional development and community
    events held in each of our cities
  • School-wide diagnostic tools and action planning frameworks
  • Urban Excellence Framework Field Guide
  • The EPIC Knowledge System, featuring case studies and tools from schools across the country making significant achievement gains

View a full list of our Selection Standards >>

Learn about the participant experience >>

New Leaders admits program participants of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin. For more information, please click here.

Learn more about applying to our programs

The Emerging Leaders Program and the Aspiring Principals Program grow the adult leadership capabilities of talented teachers and instructional leaders.