Ignite

Holly Ripley Is 2016 NASSP National Assistant Principal of the Year

Please join us in congratulating Holly Ripley.

Ripley, assistant principal of West Fargo High School in West Fargo, ND, has been named the 2016 NASSP National Assistant Principal of the Year. Surrounded by fellow administrators and other education leaders from around the country, Ripley was honored with the designation at NASSP’s national conference, Ignite ‘16, during the NASSP 100th anniversary luncheon.

Every year, this recognition is given to a middle level or high school assistant principal who has demonstrated schoolwide curriculum success (more…)

Your Ignite ‘16 To-Do List

It’s time to connect, innovate, and thrive at Ignite ’16! We’re looking forward to seeing you and other school leaders in Orlando this week at the only professional development event devoted exclusively to the needs of middle level and high school administrators.

To ensure that you take full advantage of the networks, education, and technology available at Ignite, check these items off your Ignite ’16 to-do list.

Bring Your Confirmation Email. If you haven’t already, you will receive a confirmation email a few days prior to the conference. (more…)

10 Ways Principals Can Use Twitter to Engage Stakeholders

Guest post by Dwight Carter

Before I joined the Twitterverse, I was critical of its use, and quite frankly, was turned off by the concept all together. I often read and watched what seemed like ridiculous stories of what celebrities shared about their lives—from the foods they ate, whom they had lunch with, or whom they were dating. I saw no purpose for it all. However, all that changed about five years ago when my former district embarked on a digital journey.

I had the opportunity to participate in an intense, three-day social media boot camp facilitated by Debra Jasper and Betsy Hubbard, founders of Mindset Digital. (more…)

Climate, Culture, and the Urban Assistant Principal

Guest post by Baruti K. Kafele

Over the years, I have found the role of the urban assistant principal to be the most intriguing role in schools. In my role as a consultant, I see this role being played out so differently in so many schools—ranging from school disciplinarian to instructional leadership, and everything in between.

I often reflect back on my own tenure as an urban middle school assistant principal, when my responsibilities were relegated to school disciplinarian, cafeteria duty, bus duty, hall monitor, and staff supply inventory clerk. (more…)

I Would Never Want Your Job

Guest post by Jimmy Casas

In the past I have been a part of several conversations with teachers, students, parents, principals, and aspiring administrators about the challenges that come with being a building principal. The conversation caused me to reflect on the work we do on a daily basis as building leaders and to determine what is it exactly that causes others to say, “I would never want your job.”

The truth is I am worried about the long-term impact of potential principal candidates because of the perception that is often associated with the work that we do. (more…)

Building Leadership Skills for Administrators Through ‘Manufactured’ Experience

Guest post by Ken Spero

There is a silent crisis undermining school reform. The data below paint a stark picture of the challenge facing the education space today. In any major organizational change effort, especially in a context as complex as the education system, leadership is a key ingredient to success.

Of course “leadership” can be defined in many different ways, and it is clear that different forms of leadership are required for different situations. However, the ability to communicate, coordinate, and make decisions is key under any circumstance. What makes the education leadership job so challenging is that those abilities are rife with “painful” trade-offs that make them difficult to do under the best of circumstances. (more…)

School Leaders Reflect on the Ignite Conference

Last year, we asked attendees why they keep coming back to the Ignite conference. Some of their reasons included the cutting-edge content, gaining new ideas, connecting with peers who are experiencing similar circumstances, and the conversations that happen in the halls and after sessions.

Watch this video to hear for yourself why Ignite is so valuable—and see if you’re one of the featured attendees! (more…)

How Ignite Has Enriched My Career

Being a principal, at any level, requires a diverse array of skills to ensure effective strategies are in place to meet the unique needs of all our students. Gathering this knowledge and these new strategies requires outstanding principals to learn from a variety of resources; we must maximize every opportunity we have to improve and develop our professional practices.

Two excellent sources of principal professional development are conference learning and peer networking. NASSP’s Ignite conference offers both of these sources at high levels in a jam-packed three days of professional learning.

First, Ignite is the only national conference focused solely on secondary level principals and the unique challenges we face. Ignite presents the highest level of recognized experts on a dynamic range of topics to enhance your learning. (more…)

Principals: What Are You Bringing to 2015–16 that’s “New”?

Guest post by Daisy Dyer Duerr, a 2014 NASSP Digital Principal and Ignite ’16 Speaker

I hear a gentle rumbling…it’s the sound of school buses starting and retailers unpacking school supplies. It’s back-to-school time! Most of our country’s schools will be in session within the next month.

Students will enter our schools for 2015–16 with many “new” ideas, perspectives, dreams, clothes, friends, and supplies. As principals and assistant principals you, too, should bring something “new” to your schools this year.

What’s the newest addition to your leadership toolkit this year? Maybe it’s a new digital tool you have mastered or a new way of communicating with parents. It could be something as simple as a concept from a great book or article you read over the summer. Or maybe you have changed your leadership structure and mantra completely. As a leader, you need to be evolving each year. Great principals want to continuously get better! (more…)

Attend Ignite and Spark Your Digital Discoveries

Let’s say this summer you’ve made a commitment to consider new opportunities to increase student engagement and lower disciplinary incidents. Or maybe you’ve pledged to develop a program that empowers students to be the navigators of their learning destinies. Your solutions may lie in adopting an innovative digital initiative—a program that meets students, so often referred to as today’s digital natives, where they are.

For inspiration, come to Ignite ’16 in Orlando, FL, and learn from NASSP’s 2016 Digital Principal Award winners. (Nominations and applications are available now for the 2016 Digital Principals program.) Taking a page from the experience of NASSP’s 2015 Digital Principals—John Bernia, James Richardson, and Bill Ziegler—who presented an Ignite ’15 panel discussion, technological innovation in schools can be the key to achieving these goals.

John Bernia (@MrBernia) served on a committee in his Oakland Township, MI, district to create a Bring Your Own Device policy. This principal of Oakview Middle School was so committed to classroom technology integration that he freed up classroom teachers by using substitutes in order to have a series of daytime staff meetings called “The Big Think.” (more…)