The University of North Carolina at Greensboro's PPEERS wins national UCEA Exemplary Educational Leadership Preparation Award!


Congratulations to UNC G's Principal Preparation for Excellence and Equity in Rural Schools!

To celebrate and cultivate a group of exemplary programs that model and help to catalyze and support ongoing program improvement in other universities, UCEA has established the Exemplary Educational Leadership Preparation (EELP) Award. This award complements UCEA’s core mission to advance the preparation and practice of educational leaders for the benefit of all children and schools.Quality leadership preparation is essential to quality leadership practice.

Research reveals an important relationship between preparation and leaders’ career outcomes, practices, and school improvement efforts. Exemplary/effective university-based programs evidence a range of program features that collectively contribute to robust leadership preparation.

UNC G's PPEERS clearly demonstrates its alignment with research and scholarship about exemplary and effective leadership preparation and  program effectiveness and impact.

Congratulations to NC Principal Fellows Commissioner, Leah Carper


September 21, 2021 -- “Students are people. People need connection, safety, support, validation, care, and attention,” is what Leah Carper wrote in her application to become GCS Teacher of the Year. Carper’s leadership and willingness to embrace new trends catapulted her to Teacher of the Year.

An English teacher in Guilford County Schools for more than a decade, Carper has seen a lot of change in her time as an educator. One of those changes is the rise of social media. Carper began a teaching Instagram account and a TikTok account to show not only her students, but the world, that teaching and learning can be fun.

Going the extra mile is just another day for Carper. “When it comes to teaching, I’m going to do what works for my students,” wrote Carper. “Sometimes that means dressing up in silly costumes. Other times it’s selecting reading material that appeals to their interests, experiences, and ideals.”

Carper began her education career as an English teacher at Western High in 2006. In 2016 Carper became an English teacher at Northern High. She continued in various leadership positions including becoming a lead mentor, a principal intern, an NC principal fellow commission member and a PTSA board member.

Carper acknowledged this isn’t a one-person award in her acceptance speech.

“Not one person should win Teacher of the Year for this past year,” said Carper. “This was the hardest year we’ve ever had as educators and I’m so proud of how far we’ve come and what we’ve learned. Everyone who tried to help students learn is a teacher of the year.”

NC Principal Fellows Commission Meetings Scheduled for 2021-22

The North Carolina Principal Fellows Commission meets regularly to discuss various aspects of the program.  The fifteen-member governing body represents various educational and business areas, and are appointed to serve four year terms.

Principal Preparation Professional Learning Network

Our next PLN is scheduled for Friday, December 10, 2021 from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM via Zoom.  This session will be focused on the development of a leadership coaching framework centered around addressing inequity.  All of NC's School of Education Principal Prep Programs are invited to participate.  All NC Principal Fellow Programs are required to have representation present at PLNs.

How can I "apply" for the NC Principal Fellows Program?

The process of becoming a NC Principal Fellow is collaborative and involves your school principal, district leadership (Human Resources and Superintendent) and grant-funded University Programs.

No application from our state office exists.  Each academic year, grant-funded University Programs will work with their partnering school districts to determine the number of aspiring leaders they have "on the bench" and ready to enroll in a cohort.  As partners, they manage a rigorous selection process used to ensure the highest caliber participants are accepted.

NCPFP/TP3 Highlighted in RAND Report

The North Carolina Principal Fellows and Transforming Principal Preparation Program was recently highlighted in a RAND publication.  The report, commissioned by the Wallace Foundation, researched how state-level policy levers are being used in several states to improve principal preparation. Our program was featured for the use of incentives to recruit high quality candidates for principal preparation.


Producing Exemplary School Leaders for Over 27 Years

The North Carolina Principal Fellows Program, launched in 1993, is a scholarship program that provides funding to exemplary educators who aspire to begin a career in school administration.  For twenty six years, scholarship funds (in the amount of ~$3.2 million) have been awarded.  The Transforming Principal Preparation Program is a competitive state grant ($4 million) which requires NC university programs to apply through a Request for Proposal process in order to receive funding.  Again, this is a grant awarded to university programs and not a scholarship awarded directly to students.

To read more about about the TP3 and Principal Fellows Program consolidation, click here.  You can also find more information on the Principal Preparation Program by visiting BEST NC.


NC schools with higher poverty and minority student populations lose principals at an alarming rate. We're closing the gap!