Growing Leaders From Within

School forms a tight-knit learning community to tackle literacy

By ReLeah Cossett Lent and Marsha McCracken Voigt
February 2014
There are two types of school leadership initiatives. One takes existing leaders and gives them increasing leadership responsibilities. The other engages in an organic process that grows leaders from a crop of teachers who, at first, may not appear to be leaders at all. This is a story about the second type of initiative and how it ignited a literacy team that changed teacher practices and increased student learning. In fall 2011, Principal Steve McWilliams and literacy coach Marsha Voigt looked at data from students at Barrington High School in Barrington, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago. They were pleased to see that most students scored high on state measurements, but they were concerned that there were some students who were not where they should

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ReLeah Cossett Lent and Marsha McCracken Voigt

ReLeah Cossett Lent (rlent@tds.net) is a writer and consultant. Marsha McCracken Voigt (mmcvoigt@hotmail.com ) is a literacy coach at Barrington (Ill.) High School.

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References

Cambourne, B. (1995, November). Toward an educationally relevant theory of literacy learning: Twenty years of inquiry. The Reading Teacher, 49(3), 182-190.

Darling-Hammond, L. (2010). The flat world and education: How America’s commitment to equity will determine our future. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Fullan, M. (2007). The new meaning of educational change (4th ed.). New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Hargreaves, A. & Fink, D. (2005). Sustainable leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Lent, R.C. (2012). Overcoming textbook fatigue: 21st century tools to revitalize teaching and learning. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Lent, R.C. (2007). Literacy learning communities: A guide for creating sustainable change in secondary schools. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Lent, R.C. (2006). Engaging adolescent learners: A guide for content-area teachers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.



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