Dr. Cynthia Stephens and Mary K Widener

Dr. Cynthia Stephens is Executive Director of the Leadership and Education Effectiveness Group (The LEEG). She is a former principal and central office program supervisor. Stephens and The LEEG team consult nationally
with schools, districts and educational organizations for continuous improvement in school and district effectiveness, human capital leadership development, teaching and learning excellence and equity, leadership coaching and development, and board and community engagement. Stephens was previously Division Director for Workforce Development, Recruitment and Research in the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.

Mary K Widener is a recognized principal who has led staff members and communities to excellence or transformation toward excellence in a diversity of schools labeled in many categories including low performing, high performing, middle class, affluent, high poverty, and/or high minority. Widener is a certified Client Facilitator for Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. She is an experienced mentor and coach for teacher and leader candidates in educator preparation programs and coaches for in-practice school leaders.

Thinking that Matters: From Challenge to Change Eight School Function Areas

The Leadership Effectiveness and Efficiency Analysis and Action Planning for Schools (LEAPS) can enhance school performance and partnerships with analysis and reflection of eight research based School Function Areas (SFAs). The SFAs framework comprises eight research-based areas of school function that are critical for schools to realize student achievement goals and for principals to experience systemic leadership for collaborative success with faculty and community.

The SFAs are:

  1. Vision, Mission and School Values;
  2. Leadership, Faculty and Staff Human Capital Management System;
  3. Managing Organizational Structure and Operations;
  4. Leadership for Instruction and School Improvement;
  5. Teaching, Learning and Assessment;
  6. School Climate, Equity for Students and Cultural Responsiveness;
  7. Professionalism, Ethics and Professional Conduct and;
  8. Communication and Collaboration with Families and Stakeholders.

The SFAs assist with examining current status of a school’s strengths and needs providing keys to unlocking and revealing core priorities for school improvement prioritizing, planning and implementation. Each of the SFAs highlight an essential component for the fully effective operation of a school. The SFAs provide a roadmap for for successful collaborative school improvement. Every participant should have a copy of Thinking that Matters: From Challenge to Change

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