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By Erin Smith

Two Bladen County Principals were recently recognized and awarded the Distinguished Leadership in Practice Award from the North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principals’ Association. The recipients of these awards are Elizabethtown Middle School Principal Elizabeth Cole and East Bladen High School Principal Jason Wray.

The Distinguished Leadership Program (DLP) offers participants opportunities and methods to study and learn what “distinguished” school leadership should look like. The program is one year in duration.

According to a release, “in DLP, practicing North Carolina principals are provided as models of exemplary school leadership allowing participants to study the behaviors, attitudes and competencies that define a “Distinguished” school leader.  Throughout the year-long experience, participants are led and coached through a proven continuous improvement approach.”

Participants complete the DLP program through six face-to-face and on-line components during which participants learn how to:

*use data to identify needs and establish priority goals

*align all school improvement efforts to the vision, mission, and goals of the school

*maximize teaching and learning through effective teacher evaluation and coaching for high performance

*create a student-focused culture

*connect with the external community

*lead and manage change