2000 - Teachers into principals
"The premier job for years has been an elementary principabhip, and we've had trouble getting candidates. " LaRue County Superintendent Bill Twyman Schools try to turn teachers into leaders Teacher Amber Thurman shadowed LaRue County High principal Gary Gibson recently. Principal shortage leads to hands-on hands-on hands-on training program By MARK PITSCH The Courier-Journal Courier-Journal Courier-Journal FRANKFORT, Ky. - With two principal vacancies on the horizon and a history of attracting attracting few qualified applicants, applicants, the LaRue County school system decided to train its own candidates for school leadership jobs. Six LaRue school employees employees are taking part in a yearlong yearlong program of instruction ana hands-on hands-on hands-on experience in school management. A key component is "shadowing" a principal for a day. Amber Thurman, a veteran middle school science teacher who also helps train other teachers, said she wants to be a principal because it's a career career challenge and an opportunity opportunity to set a school's agenda. agenda. She recently spent a day with LaRue County High School principal Gary Gibson. "One of the things that really hit home is that principals principals set the tone for the school," Thurman said. "Whether that's how to interact interact with students or how to interact with teachers or how to help teachers get the most out or students, the principal sets the tone." Leadership training programs programs such as LaRue's are a national trend. A 1998 survey of 403 superintendents nationwide nationwide found that 27 percent had developed an in-house in-house in-house principal training program. See PRINCIPAL Page 6, col. 1, this section -wiiwp,. -wiiwp,. ., ,. . ..... . . .. i . m - - , -f -f p i VIM J. : ' it P PHOTOS BY PAM SPAULDING, THE COURIER-JOURNAL COURIER-JOURNAL COURIER-JOURNAL Amber Thurman walked through the lunch room at LaRue County High School recently during her training to become a principal. "One thing I learned is they don't eat," Thurman said of principals.