NAESP, the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools, and the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education Honor Pre-K–3 Leadership Academy Cohort

Alabama Preschool Administrators receive credential for NAESP Pre-K-3 Leadership Academy.
Apr 29, 2022 by Kaylen Tucker

These educators represent the fifth Alabama cohort to participate in the award-winning professional learning program.

Alexandria, VA—April 29, 2022—With a commitment to preparing school leaders to help provide high-quality and aligned early learning, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS), and the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education (ADECE) are pleased to announce 18 school leaders have recently completed the NAESP Pre-K–3 Leadership Academy®. The participants represent the fifth Alabama cohort to participate in the award-winning professional learning program that provides principals and other school leaders with a job-embedded experience in developmentally appropriate leadership practices.

“NAESP is proud to work with our partners in Alabama for the fifth year in a row to offer early childhood education training to ensure the youngest learners receive a strong start,” said NAESP Executive Director L. Earl Franks, Ed.D., CAE. “Establishing an aligned learning experience from pre-K to grade 3 is critically important for students age 3 to age 8, and this academy equips educators with the skills to do just that.

Congratulations to these Alabama educators for completing this academy.”

The academy has directly supported Alabama’s school leaders in deepening their knowledge of the needs of young children and sharpening their skills as instructional leaders of early learning, a critical missing component in aligned early learning systems. NAESP’s foundational competency guide, Leading Learning Communities: A Principal’s Guide to Early Learning and the Early Grades (Pre-K−3rd Grade), provides the framework for the NAESP Pre-K-3 Leadership Academy.

The Alabama cohort focused on competencies such as developing and fostering partnerships with families and communities, ensuring equitable learning opportunities, promoting a culture of continuous improvement, and building professional capacity across the learning community. In addition to coursework, cohort members participated in a culminating Capstone Project that allowed them to apply their learning to a problem of practice within their school or district. 

The academy is funded by the ADECE through Governor Kay Ivey’s Strong Start, Strong Finish education initiative and by the federal Preschool Development Grant, Birth through Five.  

“Principal leadership is critical to the early learning environment, and the collaboration between NAESP, ADECE, and CLAS has been instrumental in this space,” said CLAS Executive Director Vic Wilson, Ed.D. “The work being done will have lasting positive impacts on students and our entire state.”

“The NAESP Pre-K-3 Leadership Academy is a collaborative effort that provides quality support in leadership, instruction, and assessment,” said Dr. Barbara Cooper, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education.  “The peer relationship building and networking experience contributes to a strong community of early childhood professionals in our state.  We are thankful for NAESP and CLAS for their partnership with the ADECE in providing this experience for Alabama early childhood leaders that moves us closer to our vision of every young child in Alabama having a strong early learning foundation for healthy growth and development.”

The academy has shown great success in bridging the gap between early childhood programs and early elementary schooling. Results from an implementation study conducted by the Southern Regional Education Board indicate that 90 percent of respondents reported that the academy helped them to “better meet the needs of vulnerable children.” Participants also reported growth in Pre-K–3 leadership competencies such as ensuring developmentally appropriate teaching and using multiple measures of assessment to guide growth in student learning.

NAESP and our partners at CLAS and the ADECE congratulate these Pre-K–3 Leadership Academy participants, who received their certification as a Pre-K–3 Credentialed Leader:

  • Jennifer L. Baker, Winston County Schools
  • Laquita R. Coleman, Tuscaloosa County Schools
  • LaTausha D. Daniels, Birmingham City Schools
  • Georgette W. Hankins, Elmore County Schools
  • Ty Harrell, Montgomery Public Schools
  • Kimberly E. Haynes, Madison County Schools
  • Tonya M. Helms, Pell City Schools
  • Thomas E. Kyzer, Walker County Schools
  • Genea T. Monroe, Tuscaloosa County School System
  • Haley Moore, Walker County Schools
  • Lori L. Moss, Etowah County Schools
  • Nakelya N. Mullins, Tuscaloosa City Schools
  • Jami Rainey, Walker County Schools
  • Holli K. Richardson, Coffee County Schools
  • Mathew T. Scott, Limestone County Schools
  • Amanda W. Tedford, Athens City Schools
  • Angela B. Thomas, Selma City Schools
  • Jaclyn Wright, Montgomery Public Schools

The leadership academy advisors were:

  • Adam Dasinger, Cleburne County Schools
  • Tanya Guin, Walker County Schools
  • Kara Scholl, Hoover City Schools
  • Karen Stewart-Moore, Macon County Schools
  • Camille Wright, ADECE

For more information about the NAESP academy contact NAESP Associate Executive Director, Professional Learning, Gracie Branch, Ph.D., at  


Established in 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) leads in the advocacy and support for elementary and middle-level principals in the United States and internationally. NAESP supports principals as the primary catalysts for creating lasting foundations for learning through policy and professional learning, advocacy, programs, and resources for effective instructional leadership. For more information about NAESP, please visit