Leader Voices

By Learning Forward
December 2012
Vol. 33 No. 6
More than a decade of school leadership research from The Wallace Foundation highlights not only the critical role of the principal but also the practices that effective school leaders undertake. A recent brief (The Wallace Foundation, 2011) distills these practices into five key functions: Shape a vision of academic success for all students; Create a climate hospitable to education; Cultivate leadership in others; Improve instruction; and Manage people, data, and processes to foster school improvement. The Standards for Professional Learning embed within all of these functions a keen focus on the learning of the adults in the school. As Angela Marcellus points out, an educator’s growth is continuous. In the pages that follow, learn with three successful school leaders, including Marcellus, about their growth as

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Anthony Craig and Angela Marcellus

Angela Marcellus ( is primary school dean of students at North Hills Preparatory in Irving, Texas, and a former principal of Jones Elementary School in the Rockwall (Texas) Independent School District.

Matt Flores ( is director of elementary curriculum and instruction in Jefferson County (Colo.) Public Schools and a former principal of Weber Elementary School in Jefferson County.

Anthony Craig ( is principal at Tulalip Elementary School in Marysville (Wash.) School District.


“I work professional development into my conversations regularly. It’s ridiculous to think that educators stop learning. Doctors and lawyers call their work a practice because they’re continually growing. Our work as educators is a practice because we, too, are continuing to learn and grow.” 

— Angela Marcellus, dean of students and former principal in Texas.

Leadership: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students requires skillful leaders who develop capacity, advocate, and create support systems for professional learning.


The Wallace Foundation. (2011). The school principal as leader: Guiding schools to better teaching and learning. New York, NY: Author.


Learning Forward is the only professional association devoted exclusively to those who work in educator professional development. We help our members plan, implement, and measure high-quality professional learning so they can achieve success with their systems, schools, and students.

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