America Achieves has partnered with New Leaders, a national nonprofit focused on developing transformational school leaders, to produce this series of videos focused on school leadership. The principals featured were identified by New Leaders’ Effective Practice Incentive Community (EPIC) awards program as exemplar leaders of high-poverty schools that have demonstrated impressive gains in student achievement.

School leaders must support teachers as they work toward preparing every student for success in the 21st century. To do that, effective principals help create a high-achieving culture in their schools — one in which teachers, parents, and students all believe in the importance of and work together to achieve college and career readiness. The videos here highlight principals who fueled major achievement gains in their schools and inspired whole communities to reach for college. After viewing the videos below, please read the New Leaders policy recommendations for how to support effective school leaders in your state or district.

Leadership Public Schools (LPS) Hayward — Sharing One Goal: Student Achievement. Principal Michael DeSousa has made the goal clear at this California high school — every student will graduate ready to succeed at a four-year college. To achieve that, DeSousa has developed a culture of high expectations among faculty, parents, and students. Innovation is encouraged. Parent partnerships are welcomed. Feedback is constant. Read the case study about this school.

Students Aspiring to College. The principals at KIPP Los Angeles, Harriet Tubman Elementary (Washington, D.C.), and Benjamin Banneker High School (Washington, D.C.) used creative tactics and their own direct interactions with students to inspire kids to take practical steps toward college.

East High School — Students Owning Their Success. Principal John Youngquist worked with teachers in this Denver school to establish Academic Success Classes. These classes were designed to build students’ confidence, empower them to develop relationships with teachers, and take ownership for their own learning. Read the case study about this school.

Great Coaching Builds Great Instruction. Through observations and individualized coaching, the principals at YES Prep North Central in Houston and Boston Collegiate Charter School help teachers bring a higher level of academic challenge to their classrooms to ensure college readiness for all students. These leaders spend a lot of time in classrooms, coaching teachers to use rigorous questions to engage students and model good instruction, and taking a hands-on approach to improving teaching practice.

Additional Resources:

School Profiles

Preparing and Advancing School Leaders

Download the Policy Guide