Delaware Academy for School Leadership


Mike Ryan, Emily Poag, Sharon Brittingham and Dave Santore are experienced professional developers who work with DASL partners to prepare Assistant Principals to “step-up” to the next level of school leadership.

Why the Need?

There is an alarming shortage of qualified aspiring administrators to meet the current and future need for school leaders. As a result, school districts need to “build the pipeline” to ensure that their schools will have effective principals when vacancies arise. To attract the very best educators to school leadership positions and to keep them in such positions, school districts must offer a network of support and foster a career-long approach to administrator development (Pounder & Crow, 2005)

Step Up Program

The Delaware Academy for School Leadership provides professional development for practicing Assistant Principals to prepare them for the Principalship.

The Step Up program provides assistant principals explicit professional guidance as they learn the skills necessary to become principals. Through role play, job embedded assignments, professional readings, and scenarios aligned to the Professional Standards for School Leaders, assistant principals are given the opportunity to experience all aspects of the school leadership and learn to make difficult decisions. A mock interview provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to get real time feedback.

At the conclusion of the six or nine month program, facilitators debrief with district level staff to assess the readiness of each candidate to be a principal.