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Great Beginnings: An Orientation for New School Administrators (4 Sessions)

August 12, 2022 @ 8:30 am - 2:45 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on October 28, 2022 at 8:30 am

One event on January 20, 2023 at 8:30 am

One event on April 12, 2023 at 8:30 am


Please share this brochure with new colleagues

Designed for new building principals, assistant principals, and those with less than one year in the position.

Sponsored by the Maine Principals’ Association

Session I ~ August 12, 2022

Session II ~ October 28, 2022

Session III ~ January 20, 2023
(Snow Date: Zoom)

Session IV ~ April 12, 2023

MPA Conference and Meeting Center
50 Industrial Drive, Augusta

$539.00 Registration Fee for the Four-Session Series.

(The fee includes all sessions, materials, continental breakfast, and lunch.)

Agenda for All Sessions

 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Registration and Refreshments

 9:00 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Program and Lunch

Introduction . . . .

The induction and retention of school administrators is a top priority for the Maine Principals’ Association. We know support systems for novice administrators in many places are virtually non-existent. Additionally, superintendents have expanded responsibilities resulting in less time to support administrators.  New principals are often provided with the building keys, last year’s handbook and master schedule if they are lucky, and well-intended good wishes. That’s not enough, and the MPA has taken action.  As evidence of its concern and commitment, the MPA has a comprehensive induction plan, grounded in the ISLLC 2008 (Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium) Standards for School Leaders, which includes the rationale for a mentoring/coaching component.  For 2022-2023, the MPA is pleased to offer “Great Beginnings” for new principals and assistant principals and a mentoring/coaching program for new principals enrolled in “Great Beginnings” and for experienced principals who have changed jobs or who simply want a mentor/coach.

About the Series . . . .

At a time when the demands on school administrators have dramatically increased, as has public scrutiny, we must ensure that those accepting the challenge have every opportunity to succeed. As a step in what is a systematic approach to new administrator induction, the MPA is once again sponsoring a four-session orientation, based on the ISLLC 2008 Standards, for our newest colleagues. The purposes of each session are to provide useful strategies and tips for a successful school year, to offer interactive opportunities, to tap the expertise of participants, and to establish relationships for on-going advice and support.  Each session will focus on key leadership tasks and responsibilities by month.  Additionally, the program design targets the varied expectations and responsibilities of principals and assistant principals at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.  To accomplish the goals of the series and to develop an effective cohort, principals and assistant principals will need to commit to full-time attendance at all four sessions.

Goals of the Series . . . .

  • To provide a framework for ensuring a successful school year.
  • To provide samples of best practices which address the major responsibilities of administrative leadership.
  • To provide a forum for discussing issues that are pertinent to new administrators.
  • To establish opportunities for on-going networking with experienced school administrators.
  • To develop collaborative relationships with other new administrators.
  • To relieve anxieties, lower stress levels, and have fun.
All material will be e-mailed to you to download prior to the session. 
Please bring a laptop or iPad with you to access these materials. 
If you would prefer to have a hard copy, please print the materials in advance and
bring them with you to the session.

Description of the Series . . .

Session One – August 12, 2022:  Getting Off To A Successful Start: The First Few Months of School – Topics include:  Introduction to the Maine Principals’ Association; Getting to Know Your Staff and Community–Developing An Entry Plan; Establishing a Relationship with Your Superintendent; Organizational Strategies, Part I; Hiring Staff; Communication Techniques, From Newsletters to Leading Meetings; Scheduling; Navigating Thorny Issues; and Much, Much More!  Participants will also interact with a panel of second-year building administrators, who will reflect on their first years on the job.

Session Two – October 28, 2022:  Once Your Feet Have Hit The Ground… — Topics include:  Organizational Strategies, Part II; Student Behavior; Special Education and 504; Student Interventions; The Supervision and Evaluation of Staff; Budget Preparation and Monitoring; Navigating Thorny Issues; and Much, Much More!  Participants will also interact with a panel of experienced principals and get advice to deal with challenging issues they face.

Session Three – January 20, 2023:  Maintaining the Momentum – Topics include: Professional Learning Communities; Student Achievement Data; Professional Development Needs; School Law; Navigating Thorny Issues; and Much, Much More!  Participants will also interact with a panel of experienced building administrators and get advice to deal with challenging issues they face. 

Session Four – April 12, 2023:   Finishing Strong – Topics include:  Transition Among Grades/Schools; Recruitment and Staffing Plans; Working with the Media; End of the Year Issues; Preparing for Your Next School Year; Navigating Thorny Issues; and Much, Much More!  Participants will also interact with a panel of experienced principals and get advice to deal with challenging issues they face.  



About Our Facilitators . . . .

Chad Bell is currently principal at Winslow High School where he has lead the Black Raider community for the past nine years.  He has previously been Pre-K to 12 principal (and CTE Director) at Van Buren District School and Assistant Principal at Stearns High School.  Chad spent his teaching career at Millinocket Middle School, where he taught eighth grade science.
Jennifer McGee is currently principal at Atwood (Ralph M.) School in Oakland.  She has been happily working as a public educator for 36 years. The first fourteen years were spent as a special educator and language arts teacher, and the last twenty-one years have been as a school administrator.  Throughout her career, Jennifer has kept her fingers in teaching at the college level.  She has taught for the University of Maine, for The University of Southern New Hampshire, and currently works in an adjunct position teaching Evaluation and Supervision and Educational Leadership at Thomas College.  In 2017, McGee was named as National Distinguished Principal of the Year.

Here’s quotes from past participants in the “Great Beginnings” series: 

  • “Great Beginnings offers safe harbors several times throughout a unique and stormy sail through your first year. When you chart your course, definitely have this program as a key navigational aide.”
  • “This series was both informative and validating. I walked away with really useful resources every session.”
  • “The teacher in my school that stands in for me when I’m out of the building (not easy) said to me before one of these sessions “Oh you have to go. You always come back energized and with good ideas!”
  • “I can’t imagine navigating through this first challenging year without these sessions.”
Directions to the MPA Conference and Meeting Center, 50 Industrial Drive, Augusta, 622-0217:  From the Augusta/Belgrade exit, Exit 112B (from the south) or Exit 112 (from the north) off Interstate 95, turn right onto Route 27 (Civic Center Drive) as if to go towards Belgrade and travel 7/10 of a mile. You will go by the Comfort Inn and the Veterans’ Cemetery on the right. Take a left at the traffic light onto the Leighton Road (opposite the Elks Lodge) and an immediate right onto Industrial Drive. The MPA Conference and Meeting Center is the third building on the left.


August 12, 2022
8:30 am - 2:45 pm
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MPA Conference and Meeting Center
50 Industrial Drive
Augusta, ME 04338 United States
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