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Boston-area School Principals Participate in New Leadership Program at BC's Lynch School

Chestnut Hill, Mass. (July 2011) – Twenty principals from Boston-area schools spent 10 days at Boston College this summer, participating in a first-of-its-kind academy to assist them in dealing with the challenges that face urban schools and leading their schools toward greater effectiveness and success.

Created through a gift from philanthropists Carolyn A. and Peter S. Lynch, the Lynch Leadership Academy - housed at Boston College's Lynch School of Education - was established in 2010. Its goal is to bring together principals from three sectors of K-12 education - traditional public schools, Catholic schools and charter schools - to partake in an innovative training program to produce successful educational leaders by combining theoretical knowledge with coaching from highly successful as practitioners. Its fellows are drawn from the leadership of Boston’s 135 public schools, 16 charter schools and the 135 schools of the Archdiocese of Boston.

Peter S. Lynch talks with fellows participating in the inaugural Lynch Leadership Academy's summer institute.

This inaugural class of Lynch Academy fellows attended a summer institute that focused on a wide range of topics pertinent to the vitality and success of urban schools, including school culture, instructional leadership, team building, data-based decision-making political realities, educational equity and institutional advancement. The principals heard from 30 scholar-practitioners, including Boston College faculty members, visiting lecturers, veteran school leaders and experts from school departments, government agencies and non-profit organizations.

“The Lynch Leadership Academy's summer institute is a one-of-a-kind forum that gives urban principals the opportunity to learn from each other and from local and national experts from education and business,” said Lynch School Interim Dean and Professor Maureen Kenny. “The skills and vision that these scholar-experts share encourage our urban school principals to develop systems and policies to increase the academic success of their students.”

The fellows not only looked at best practices and different methods for enhancing their schools, but also continued to develop a network of relationships to provide ongoing knowledge and support.

“Typically Catholic, district, and charter school leaders have limited opportunities to interact with one another, even if their schools are located in the same neighborhoods and share similar challenges,” said Kenny. “The Lynch Leadership fellows overcome these divides and leave the summer institute excited to take what they learned and apply it to their practice and to their schools.”

Boston College President William P. Leahy, S.J., Peter and Carolyn Lynch, and Lynch Leadership Academy Interim Director Catherine Wong also addressed the fellows at a dinner during the summer institute.

The Lynch Leadership Academy fellows will continue their training with workshops, coaching and interactive sessions throughout the academic year. Upon completion of the program, the fellows will receive three graduate school credits and a Certificate in School Leadership.

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