Watson Chronicle


Support for Educators in the Field

Sterrett Partners with North Carolina Principal Fellows

Monday, November 18, 2013

William Sterrett

William Sterrett is partnering with the North Carolina Principal Fellows for the 2013-14 school year, facilitating a study of his book, Insights Into Action: Successful School Leaders Share What Works published by ASCD in 2011. Sterrett, a former principal, assistant principal and middle school science teacher is now an assistant professor and program coordinator in the Department of Educational Leadership at the Watson College.

On Sept. 19, Sterrett was the presenter at an Enrichment Seminar for the 65 students who comprise Class 19 of North Carolina’s Principal Fellows program. Sterrett’s presentation, titled “Learning to Lead,” focused on practical ways for those in the role of school principal to make time to both learn and lead through the lens of North Carolina leadership standards.

Principal Fellows are enrolled in Master’s in School Administration (M.S.A.) programs offered at UNC campuses across the state. Through the North Carolina Principal Fellows program, now in its 20th year, the state pays the salary of teachers as they work for two years toward a goal of becoming a principal. In return, upon graduation participants agree to work for at least four years as an administrator in public schools in North Carolina.

Class 19 Fellows are in the second year of the M.S.A. program, working to complete a full-year administrative internship that affords them 500 hours of experience in schools each semester. At UNCW, separate placements in the fall and spring provide Principal Fellows the opportunity to experience multiple levels of learning. Upon graduation, Fellows are certified to serve as K-12 administrators, and Sterrett says multiple placements help students determine the best fit. “For example, a middle grades math teacher may discover work at the elementary or high school level is more rewarding,” he says. “They may never have known that if they interned only in a middle school.”

Sterrett says the role of principal can be stressful but it’s also rewarding and he’s thrilled by the invitation from C. Diane Payne, N.C. Principal Fellows director to help prepare future education leaders across the state for the challenge.