A new generation of aspiring administrators will Be Extraordinarily Effective Stewards as they graduate from the innovative program offered by the Pendergast District entitled the B.E.E.S. Institute.
The “buzz” created is due to the uniqueness of this “grow your own” administrative program offered in its inaugural year through a partnership with the Pendergast Elementary School District and the Arizona Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (AZALAS).
B.E.E.S. is the brainchild of Pendergast District Superintendent Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux and Chief Academic Officer Dora Barrio collaborating with AZALAS to provide the theory and application of skills designed to be effective with the diverse student population in Arizona.
The Pendergast Elementary School District covers 20 square miles and serves the communities of Phoenix, Glendale and Avondale in Arizona. The District serves approximately 10,000 Preschool through Eighth Grade students on twelve campuses.
With an eighty-five percent ethnic diversity and seventy-four percent of the student population on free and reduced lunch, many challenges are presented for district administrators and their staffs.
When district administrators looked for answers, they felt forming a B.E.E.S. Institute would greatly increase the opportunity to foster successful students in the district and to open up institute participation to districts that are experiencing similar challenges.
After extensive research, Barrio and DeBlieux found there is no program similar in nature in Arizona and they were willing to reach internally and externally to offer this type of leadership platform. Costs are minimal and scholarships offered to those unable to meet the financial commitment.
B.E.E.S. is a comprehensive institute for new and aspiring administrators designed to meet the challenges of the new millennium. The focus of the institute is on developing and refining applied leadership and management skills required of principals at the elementary, middle grades and high school levels. Twenty-seven participants are investing their time, resources and energies toward improving their skills in the following topic areas:
• Principal leadership
• Leading and culture
• Personnel/School Law
• Blended Learning
• Effective Walkthroughs/Teacher Observations-evaluation
B.E.E.S. provides site administrators experience through interactive seminars and workshop sessions. Educational administration experts and experienced school principals facilitate the sessions on Friday nights and all day Saturdays sharing their knowledge and research-based best practices. Each session incorporates the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium Standards (ISLLC) so participants can directly apply what they are learning to their school positions.
Each session has been amazingly well received with evaluations reflecting the highest marks. Participants exit each monthly weekend conference eager to apply what they are learning; reaching all students through effective stewardship and displaying their schools through the advancement of job embedded professional development.
Not only has the collaboration with AZLAS been an effective recruitment tool, it has provided the mentoring critical for administrators to create school cultures where equity and equality are valued and practiced.
The B.E.E.S. model is easily replicated in other districts with the tools, resources and desire to improve educational attainment and enhanced knowledge in each topic area. Additionally, the networking that occurs and opportunities for developing future administrators as well as strengthening current ones is invaluable. B.E.E.S. will continue to collaborate in the future with AZLAS to create leaders who possess the knowledge, skills and desire to “be extraordinarily effective stewards” who will lead schools to address the needs of 21st Century Learners.