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Nebraska’s NAESP PreK-3 Leadership Academy

Nebraska’s NAESP PreK-3 Leadership Academy is an opportunity for Nebraska elementary principals, instructional leaders, Head Start and community child care providers to take part in a year-long professional learning and resource program to better develop their knowledge and skills for leading and directing programs for children age three to eight.

Participants will engage in a blended professional learning environment that includes 3 in-person and/or virtual meetings, online coursework, and collaboration with peers through online discussions and Zoom meetings while working through Leading Learning Communities: A Principal’s Guide to Early Learning and the Early Grades (Pre-K-3rd Grade).

We are currently accepting applications for Cohort 3. Applications are due by 4:30pm on March 25th.

Application Packet

Cohort 3 Timeline

 

Cohort FAQ

What is the NAESP Pre-K-3 Leadership Academy®?

The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP™) Pre-K-3 Leadership Academy® is a program designed to promote and build the capacity of national principals and directors to lead Pre-K-3 communities.

Who is sponsoring this initiative?

The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP™) and the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) are partnering to provide high-quality professional learning and a resource program to meet the needs of elementary principals and Pre-K program directors serving children from age three to eight or Pre-K-3rd Grade.

Will participants be assessed a program fees?

Due to the collaborative partnership of NAESP™ and the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE), the NAESP Pre-K-3 Leadership Academy® is being provided free of charge. Program participants will attend and participate in three in-person and/or virtual meetings as described in the tentative program timeline listed below and will be responsible for their own travel expenses to/from each meeting.

How will content and training be delivered?

The program will consist of a multifaceted and highly engaging blended professional learning environment that will include three in person and/or virtual meetings, multi- media online coursework, and collaboration with peers in a learning management system through on-line discussions and group Zoom meetings. The culminating Capstone Project will provide program participants with an opportunity to apply what they are learning to their current setting. Cohort participants will, with the guidance and support of a trained Pre-K-3 Leadership Academy® Advisor, progress through the online training program that is aligned to NAESP™’s foundational competency guide, Leading Learning Communities: A Principal’s Guide to Early Learning and the Early Grades (Pre-K–3rd Grade). Cohort participants and advisors will also participate in three in-person and/or virtual full-day learning sessions to help take theory, learning, and content into practice.

What are the six competencies that characterize Leading Learning Communities: A Principal’s Guide to Early Learning and the Early Grades (Pre-K–3rd Grade)?

  • Understand Child Development and Its Implications for High-Quality Instruction and Interactions, Pre-K–3rd Grade
  • Develop and Foster Partnerships with Families and Communities
  • Embrace and Enact a Pre-K–3rd Grade Vision
  • Ensure Equitable Opportunities
  • Share Leadership and Build Professional Capacity
  • Promote a Culture of Continuous Improvement

What are the program prerequisites?

The program will be particularly focused on selecting principals from the following priorities:

  • elementary schools designated for Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) or Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI), or
  • elementary schools that receive early childhood grant funding, or
  • elementary schools that have a local Head Start or Community Childcare director also apply and participate in the academy.

Applications are encouraged for those not meeting the priorities, and will be considered by any principal, director or leader of a Pre-K-3 school or agency.

Congratulations to Cohort 2 of Nebraska’s NAESP PreK-3 Leadership Academy!

20 individuals from across the state have been selected to be part of Nebraska’s NAESP PreK-3 Leadership Academy.

 

Allyson Bohlen
Principal
Adams Central Early Learning Center
Juniata, NE

Chelsea Feusner
PK-5 Director of Education
Kearney Public Schools
Kearney, NE

Shannon Hall-Schmeckpeper
Special Education Coordinator
Seward Public Schools
Seward, NE

Melissa Jantz
Principal
Norfolk Public Schools, Little Panthers Preschool
Norfolk, NE

Nicole Johnson
2nd Grade Dual Language Teacher
OPS, Gomez-Heritage Elementary
Omaha, NE

Chelsey Klein
Early Childhood Coordinator
York Public Schools
York, NE

Tracy Naylor
Director
Lexington Public Schools, Early Learning Academy
Lexington, NE

Sara Paider
Elementary Principal
St. Paul Public Schools
St. Paul, NE

Sarah Sell
Assistant Elementary Principal
Crete Public Schools
Crete, NE

Samantha Wehenkel
Asst. Special Education Director/PreK Teacher
Auburn Public Schools, Calvert Elementary
Auburn, NE

Abbey Cron
Elementary Principal
Centura Public School
Cairo, NE

Meghan Gibilisco
Early Childhood Teacher
OPS, Gomez-Heritage Elementary
Omaha, NE

Sarah Hansen
Assistant Special Education Director
Educational Service Unit 1
Wakefield, NE

Cindy Johnson
Elementary Principal
Boyd County Schools
Butte, NE

Kelly Klanecky
Elementary Principal
Wood River Public Schools
Wood River, NE

Courtney Manzitto
Principal
Millard Public Schools, Wheeler Elementary
Omaha, NE

Mary Ellen Osnes
Preschool Teacher
Valentine Community Schools
Valentine, NE

Kerra Robinson
Asst. Director of Special Education/PreK Principal 
Hastings Public Schools
Hastings, NE

Penny Thompson
Supervisor
Blue Valley Community Action
Crete, NE

Heather Wendelin
Elementary Principal
Crete Public Schools
Crete, NE

Andy DeFreece
Dir. of Elementary & Early Childhood Education
Millard Public Schools
Omaha, NE

Jason Hippen
Director of Student Services
Nebraska City Public Schools
Nebraska City, NE

Tiffany Shonerd
Children Services Director
Blue Valley Community Action Head Start
Fairbury, NE

Kim Flanders
Elementary Principal
North Platte Public Schools, McDonald Elementary
North Platte, NE

Amy Kroll
Director of School Improvement & Student Services
Weeping Water Public Schools
Weeping Water, NE

NAESP Leadership Academy Blog

Get a peek inside the workings of the NAESP Leadership Academy as Nebraska’s Advisors share their experiences and insights from the field!

Embracing and Enacting

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 20 members of cohort 2 through the leadership academy coursework. We checked in with advisor Tiffany Shonerd, Children Services Director at Blue Valley Community Action Partnership, to see how her group is […]

Bridging the Gap

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 Andy DeFreece, Director of Elementary and Early Childhood Education at Millard Public Schools in Omaha.   Why did […]

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 […]

Shaping The Future

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 Jason Hippen, Director of Student Services for Nebraska City Public Schools.   Why did you want to be […]

Embracing Early Childhood

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 Amy Kroll, Director of School Improvement and Special Education at Weeping Water Public Schools. Why did you […]


Learn more!

Watch our 2020 Admin Days presentation to hear from 3 of the graduates of the 1st Cohort.

Watch our 2021 Admin Days presentation to learn more about this year-long professional learning opportunity that helps leaders grow their abilities to lead learning communities for preschool through 3rd grade.

Updated December 21, 2021 1:12pm