Journal of Educational Leadership in Action


The workload of campus leaders continues to increase with new expectations for evaluation and supervision, changing legislative mandates, and mounting pressures for improved school accountability. Educational Leadership preparation programs are built on national and state standards related to principal leadership and competency. However, while principal preparation programs have focused intently on instructional leadership development for future principals, most educational leadership candidates do not immediately enter the principalship but rather start their administrative careers as assistant principals. School districts can implement a comprehensive training protocol for their emerging principals using research-based practices to ensure assistant principals have the training, coaching, and mentoring necessary for the next level of leadership. The professional development strategies presented here can be pivotal in ensuring that individuals are prepared for campus leadership and potentially mitigate principal burnout. Increasing the competencies of assistant principals to prepare them for campus leadership will help support the future of the school district and ensure a pipeline of strong leaders.


Dr. Jerry R. Burkett is an Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for Educational Leadership at the University of North Texas at Dallas. He has 21 years of public education experience on the elementary and secondary levels in the state of Texas serving in a variety of roles including teacher, principal, and district administrator. Dr. Burkett’s K-12 experience includes work in Title I schools; community engagement and parental involvement initiatives; implementing North Texas’ first Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) concept school on the elementary level; as well as incorporating partnerships with corporations and universities into the classroom experience. His research agenda includes educational leadership, principal preparation, school finance, and education policy.

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