Isle of Wight County Schools faculty completes leadership academy

Published 10:04 pm Thursday, May 16, 2019

Principal Jessica Harding, third from right, and other faculty from Georgie D. Tyler Middle School at the leadership academy. — Submitted Lynn Briggs

By Lynn Briggs


A team of educators from Isle of Wight County Schools (IWCS) recently completed EdLeader21’s 4Cs Leadership Academy, an intensive, year-long program designed to deepen the capacity of district and school leaders to advance 21st century learning opportunities for all students — with a focus on helping students master competencies such as the 4Cs (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity).

Throughout the year, teams engaged in collaborative project-based learning experiences to design and implement solutions to a specific 4Cs problem of practice in their school or district, while also exploring best practices in 21st century education leadership. The Leadership Academy program included three face-to-face events with other district leaders from across the country as well as virtual coaching sessions and training.

Teams in the 4Cs Leadership Academy are tackling the most pressing challenge in education today —how can we effectively transform teaching and learning to prepare all students for success in college, career, life, and citizenship?” said Valerie Greenhill, president of EdLeader21. “The Academy helps strengthen leadership skills among educators leading this kind of change.”

On April 10-11, leadership teams from Georgie Tyler Middle School, Windsor Elementary School, Westside Elementary School, and Windsor High School joined other teams from school systems nationwide in Columbus, Ohio to present their work to a panel of national education experts — including Tony Wagner, senior research fellow at the Learning Policy Institute and author of “Creating Innovators” and “Most Likely to Succeed;” Karen Aka, lead facilitator at One Shared Future; and Mike Duncan, superintendent of Pike County Schools. Participants also engaged in professional learning focused on equity and leading 21st century district transformation. Videos of the presentations can be found on the division’s webpage at

Principal Ellen Couch, fifth from left, and faculty from Windsor Elementary School. — Submitted Lynn Briggs

The participants from Windsor Elementary were Ellen Couch, principal, and Erin Luck, assistant principal, Lisa Meier, instructional coach, and Julie Branch, classroom teacher. From Windsor High, participants included Laura Sullivan, principal, Dawn Carroll, assistant principal, Tracy Ferguson, instructional coach, Cassie Presson, classroom teacher. Westside Elementary participants included Dr. Marsha Cale, principal, Jason Wheeler, assistant principal, Michelle Pealo, instructional coach, and Robin Gafa, classroom teacher. Georgie Tyler Middle’s team consisted of Jessica Harding, principal, Kristen Wilkins, assistant principal, and Ashleigh Hazel, classroom teacher.

LYNN BRIGGS is the director of community and media relations for Isle of Wight County Schools. She can be reached at 365-1611 or