UNC Greensboro today announced that the School of Education has been awarded $1.73 million to extend the Principal Preparation for Excellence and Equity in Rural Schools (PPEERS) program. This funding supports a cohort of 20 future leaders for 2018-2020.

Supported by the North Carolina Alliance for School Leader Development, PPEERS is a partnership between UNCG, 11 rural school districts and the Southern Regional Education Board. The program recruits and prepares committed educators to serve as institution leaders in rural schools districts. Ultimately, the goal is to create a strong principal pipeline to benefit these underrepresented, high-needs schools across North Carolina.

UNCG received $1.8 million in 2016 to fund the first 18-month cohort. Given the success of the group, additional funding was awarded – bringing the total to $3.5 million – to extend the program through 2020.

“This substantial funding goes toward full in-state tuition and fees for the Master of School Administration for a complete cohort of 20 students,” said Candice Nelson, program manager of PPEERS. “It also provides salary replacement for the 10-month, full-time internship at the 2017/2018 entry-level state assistant principal salary rate, leadership development and enriching experiences based in social justice and racial equity.”

Funding for future cohorts is recurring over time, pending continued legislative support and positive evaluations of PPEERS by the North Carolina Alliance for School Leadership Development.

“The work that the PPEERS team and its cohorts will continue to accomplish is instrumental to the success of these rural school districts,” says Dr. Randy Penfield, dean of the School of Education at UNCG. “We are thrilled that the program has now been extended by state funding for an additional two years.”

PPEERS is spearheaded by Dr. Kimberly Kappler Hewitt, the director of the program; Dr. Anne Davis, recently retired Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations (ELC) faculty; and Dr. Carl Lashley, current ELC faculty member and co-director of the Moss Street Partnership School.