Learning & Leading

Welcome to Nebraska’s NAESP PreK-3 Leadership Academy blog! We will be bringing you updates and perspectives from the advisors who are leading the 25 members of cohort 2 through the leadership academy coursework. This month we are featuring Kim Flanders, Principal at McDonald Elementary in North Platte.


Why did you want to be a part of the Leadership Academy?

Before becoming an elementary principal 10 years ago, I served as an elementary teacher in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade and was also an instructional coach for North Platte Public Schools. We know that positive, high quality early childhood experiences provide the best opportunity to prepare children for success in school and life. With a strong focus upon the development of a child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs — we have a moral imperative to ensure that the adults in their lives have the knowledge, understanding and fortitude to carry out this mission.  As a previous cohort member, it’s an honor to not only continue to build my capacity around best early childhood practices, but also help my fellow colleagues along the way. Together we can improve early childhood programming in our school districts.


Which communities/school districts are represented in your group?


What big ideas resonated with the group most?

Some of the big ideas that have resonated the most during our discussions include: family engagement, transitions, play based learning experiences, and trauma-informed practices.


What are you most looking forward to gaining through the PreK-3 Leadership Academy?

I am looking forward to building my capacity in early childhood while learning and leading alongside members of my cohort.