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Foundation Awards $1 Million to Support Training of Principals for Urban Public Schools


Foundation Awards $1 Million to Support Training of Principals for Urban Public Schools


DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has awarded $1 million to New Leaders for New Schools, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recruiting and training the next generation of high-performing principals for urban public schools. Principals in urban public schools often face especially challenging responsibilities, and New Leaders offers one of the few programs in America specially designed to recruit and train leaders for these institutions. The Foundation's grant will enable New Leaders to train 25 new principals for urban school systems across the US, including more than doubling the number of principals it currently prepares for public schools in Washington, DC.

According to Jonathan Schnur, co-founder and chief executive officer of New Leaders, the Foundation's grant "has created a special opportunity for highly skilled individuals to lead public schools and change education. You can't change a company without a great CEO, and you can't change a school without a great principal."

New Leaders recruits candidates from inside and outside the education and teaching fields. It then provides them with extensive academic training, including a six-week Summer Foundations Institute, and a yearlong resident principalship with a high-performing mentor principal. New Leaders is one of the only school leadership programs in the country that provides a full-time, year-long residency experience to aspiring principals.

Founded in 2000, New Leaders has already recruited and trained nearly 100 current and aspiring principals, whose schools enroll 50,000 and include some of the country's largest school systems - including Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, and Memphis. In January 2004, Fast Company magazine named New Leaders one of the "Top 20 Groups That Are Changing the World."

The Cooke Foundation's support will fund the training of an additional 13 resident principals beginning this fall in D.C. public schools, as well as 12 resident principals beginning this fall in public schools elsewhere. The Foundation will also select 25 of the New Leaders' aspiring principals to advise its Young Scholars Program, which serves high-achieving high school students from low-income backgrounds.

Matthew J. Quinn, executive director of the Foundation, said, "At the core of New Leaders' philosophy is one of Mr. Cooke's core beliefs, that great individuals can do great things. By selecting its candidates carefully, training them intensively, and holding them accountable for student achievement, New Leaders is preparing these principals to make a tremendous contribution to the quality of education in their schools."


The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, based in Lansdowne, Virginia, is a private, independent foundation established by Jack Kent Cooke to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education. More information on the Foundation is at

New Leaders for New Schools is based in New York City. Information on becoming a New Leaders for New Schools principal is found at






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