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New Principal L2L Program Created

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The Arkansas Tech University Center for Leadership and Learning’s (CLL) Leader to Leader program has received new funding to create a program for principals to complement the existing superintendent Leader to Leader (L2L) program. This program is being developed at the request of Superintendent L2L graduates.

L2L, formerly known as the Superintendent’s Academy, is in its fourth year of service. The purpose of the program is to bring school leaders at both levels together for a year of professional development that focuses on the task and challenge of leadership roles.

Dr. Mary Gunter, Dean of the Graduate College where the CLL is located, says the program will “build leadership by members sharing their own experiences and working together finding solutions to today’s challenges.”

Participants for both the superintendent and principal Leader to Leader programs are nominated by the Arkansas Center for Executive Leadership Board of Directors.

Superintendent members of L2L recently traveled to New York to study education in context and compare and contrast educational backgrounds and settings. Those selected for this year’s Superintendent L2L and making the New York visit include the following:

  • Suzanne Bailey—Waldron
  • Sheila Bowen—White Co. Central
  • Dennis Copeland—Mountainburg
  • Jim Ford—County Line
  • Thomas L. Gathen—McGehee
  • Nathan Gills—Glen Rose
  • Benny Gooden—Fort Smith
  • Donna Harris—NE AR Educational Service Co-op
  • Roy Hester—Lamar
  • Paul Hines—Benton Co. School of the Arts
  • Frank Mitchell—Vilionia
  • John Moore—Magnolia
  • Lonnie Myers—Mountain Home
  • Jerry Newton—Poyen
  • John K. Parrish—Booneville
  • Kerry Schneider—Mulberry/Pleasant View
  • Dean Stanley—Midland
  • John Tackett—Lonoke
  • Tony Thurman—Cabot
  • Tommy Tyler—Fouke
  • Mike Van Dyke—Pea Ridge
  • Jerrod Williams—Pangburn
  • Megan Witonski—Elkins
  • Merle Dickerson—AR Center for Executive Leadership

“Leader to Leader is an experiential, practical training experience to help superintendents and principals be better at the jobs they do. After going through a similar program in Texas, we were excited to bring the program to Arkansas because of the hands-on experience it offered,” said Dr. Merle Dickerson, executive director of L2L and superintendent of Van Buren Public Schools.

Dickerson has more than 20 years of experience in the field of educational leadership. “Tech is pleased to have him in this role as a practitioner in the L2L program,” Gunter said.

L2L is currently funded by the Walton Family Foundation. The Arkansas Center for Executive Leadership Board of Directors is working with Arkansas Tech to secure multiple sources of funding in the future.

“Leader to Leader is in keeping with the CLL mission of outreach to our practicing leaders in the field. It’s our goal to provide this extension of continued professional development opportunities to our school leaders,” Gunter said.

Principal members of L2L are:

  • Ron Bond—Prairie Grove
  • Steve Britton—Spring Hill
  • Sammy Bray—Hope
  • David Campbell—Batesville
  • Nicole Covey—Brookland
  • Dewayne Curry—Lake Hamilton
  • Martha Dodson—Paris
  • Wayne Guiltner—Salem
  • Jeff Hernandez—Brookland
  • Kelvin Hudson—Flippin
  • Gary Jackson—Warren
  • Jason Lawrence—Mayflower
  • Lonnie Mitchell—Van Buren
  • Kendal Montgomery—Hope
  • Beverly Overturf—White Hall
  • John Pipkins—Mayflower
  • Adam Robison—Atkins
  • Pat Rutherford—Batesville
  • Sheri Shirley—Russellville
  • Mark Shumate—Mena
  • Mike Skelton—Jonesboro
  • Mary Ann Spears—Lincoln
  • Eddie Tipton—Van Buren
  • Doug Upshaw—Hot Springs
  • George Wilson—Hot Springs
  • Traci Webb—Highland

Superintendent members of L2L are:

  • Suzanne Bailey—Waldron
  • Sheila Bowen—White Co. Central
  • Dennis Copeland—Mountainburg
  • Jim Ford—County Line
  • Thomas L. Gathen—McGehee
  • Nathan Gills—Glen Rose
  • Benny Gooden—Fort Smith
  • Donna Harris—NE AR Educational Service Co-op
  • Roy Hester—Lamar
  • Paul Hines—Benton Co. School of the Arts
  • Frank Mitchell—Vilionia
  • John Moore—Magnolia
  • Lonnie Myers—Mountain Home
  • Jerry Newton—Poyen
  • John K. Parrish—Booneville
  • Kerry Schneider—Mulberry/Pleasant View
  • Dean Stanley—Midland
  • John Tackett—Lonoke
  • Tony Thurman—Cabot
  • Tommy Tyler—Fouke
  • Mike Van Dyke—Pea Ridge
  • Jerrod Williams—Pangburn
  • Megan Witonski—Elkins
  • Merle Dickerson—AR Center for Executive Leadership
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