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History Highlights

Funding provided by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with NASSP supported delivery of Breaking Ranks II Leadership Train-the-Trainer programs and development of a model for mentoring and coaching school leaders. (2004)


Collaboration with Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) resulted in the 2-day conference “A Think Tank on Leadership and Student Achievement – What Can a Principal Do?” which was attended by school principals and assistant principals, superintendents and assistant superintendents, school board members, education professors, policy makers, and other current and aspiring school leaders. (2004)​


Lead partner in then-Governor Mark Warner’s National Governors Association $2 million grant to “Redesign the American High School,” VFEL being the only professional nonprofit organization included in the grant. (2005)


Appointed as association member to the Governor’s Leadership P-16 Council, which (1) served as a catalyst for increased collaboration among entities that influenced P-16 education, (2) examined issues related to increased high school rigor and opportunities for secondary students, and (3) received reports on the progress and success of other initiatives within the Governor’s grant to consider for additional policy recommendations. (2005)​

Dr. Patricia I. Wright, State Superintendent, speaking at the Virginia Board of Education meeting (April 2014)

VFEL faculty members provided Breaking Ranks II  training sessions across the Commonwealth. (2005-2007)


Development of a new mentoring and coaching model to reflect the needs of a high stakes testing state like Virginia; 21 school leaders were trained to be mentors and coaches. (2006) 


Initiation of  the “Virginia Principals 21st Century Initiative” (Principal 21C) that included five leadership learning programs: 1) Breaking Ranks II for High School Leaders, 2) Breaking Ranks In the Middle for Middle School Leaders, 3) Mentoring and Coaching, 4) McREL's Balanced Leadership, and 5) Strategic Instruction Model. (2007)


Partnership with the Office of School Improvement (Virginia Department of Education), the Center on Innovation and Improvement (CII), and the Appalachian Comprehensive Resource Center led to the development of a program that  provided school leaders with the knowledge, tools, and skills to make effective decisions that would result in improved student achievement; resulted in the document The Virginia Model: Mentor Coaching for School Improvement.  (2008)


Sponsor and organizer of "The Virginia Model: Mentor Coaching for School Improvement Institute" in Charlottesville. (2009) 


Partnership with the Virginia Department of Education to develop a new Lead Turnaround Partner model to coordinate and assess vendor services that assisted priority schools in their efforts to increase student achievement and graduation rates. (2012 – 2014)


Partnership with the Virginia Department of Education and the National Institute for School Leadership to train VFEL faculty who would conduct cohorts in the “Executive Development Program” throughout Virginia. (2013 - present). 


Presentation and report to Virginia Board of Education regarding the “Executive Development Program” and connections with Virginia’s Principal of Distinction (Level II) Administration and Supervision Endorsement. (2015)

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