2022 Neubauer Fellows Go ‘All the Way Up’ with Summer Institute

The Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders kicked off the 2022 Neubauer Fellowship in Educational Leadership with a July 11 through July 16 Summer Institute for members of the 7th Cohort

The six-day intensive welcomes the new cohort into the Neubauer Fellowship, a two-year transformational experience that equips Philadelphia principals with leadership skills, relationships, and access to resources to develop educational systems that drive student success and advance equity. 

The week centers on building connections, developing the Leadership Levers (competencies) that serve as foundational elements of the program, and supporting Fellows to prepare for a strong start to the school year. Participants connect deeply, sharing personal leadership stories and leveraging these stories to build relational trust and ownership around their visions to help students achieve success. Each cohort identifies a supportive catchphrase or motto that the cohort’s members feel represents the energy or spirit of the group; Cohort 7 chose “All the way up,” a reflection of Fellows’ goals for their students and themselves. 

“I loved connecting with other leaders and being given the push to be vulnerable,” said 2022 Neubauer Fellow Naeemah Seward, Regional Schools Officer at Mastery Charter Schools. “I also loved how our cohort has come together as a group—forging an identity in a small amount of time.”

Throughout the week, Fellows enhance their skills and share effective strategies to increase team performance by aligning team culture to mission and values; effectively use data to identify issues and drive innovative solutions; and explore the impact of identity on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in schools.

Summer Institute is carefully designed to go beyond theory to translate into effective practices that positively impact student outcomes and school systems. 

Fellows identify a specific problem of practice—an authentic, high-leverage challenge—then analyze, identify root causes, and determine potential strategies, leveraging peer feedback and collaboration to maximize a solution’s impact. The last day of Summer Institute is dedicated to planning for the start of the school year, allowing participants to synthesize ideas elicited throughout the Institute and translate them into solutions-oriented practices ready to be implemented in 30-, 60-, and 90-day plans. 

Participants leave the week inspired and ready to apply what they learned to make an impact.

“The experience provided me with a wealth of ideas and desires to push myself to be the best leader and human for my community,” said 2022 Fellow Leigh Vitvitsky, Principal at George W. Sharswood Elementary School.  

Calling the Institute “a tremendous and transformational experience,” David McDonough, Principal at St. James School and 2022 Fellow, said, “I can honestly say these six days surpassed any previous professional development in terms of up-to-date, research-based content, transformative strategies, and authentic community building.”

“Leading up to this school year, I am armed with invaluable resources to help me in the work,” said Shoshana Tyler, 2022 Fellow and Principal at Global Leadership Academy Charter School West.

School Leaders is proud to continue to support and strengthen the members of the 2022 Neubauer Fellowship as they go “All the way up!”