Leadership Development Unit 


Overview of the Leadership Development Program

Our Proactive Approach
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has taken a proactive approach in developing school leaders. MCPS has adopted a structured and sequential Leadership Development Program (LDP) that culminates with the preparation of highly skillful leaders who possess the necessary attitude, knowledge, and skills to meet the ever changing demands of the principalship.

Assistant Principal (AP)
The program begins with a recruitment effort at the teacher level via a series of Future Administrators Workshops. These workshops are highly recommended for candidates interested in applying to the AP Pool.

Assistant School Administrator (ASA) 
It is also possible that some aspiring administrators begin the profession as an Assistant School Administrator (ASA), an eleven-month position that carries similar responsibilities to those of an assistant principal.

Both roads lead to a more structured program, designed to ensure the administrator’s effectiveness and to reduce the variability in the training and development of school-based administrators.

The LDP includes five levels of training and support: ASA, AP1, AP2, Principal Intern, and first-year Principal. At the conclusion of the AP2 year, the AP candidate is formally appointed as an assistant principal and may apply to continue in the program as a principal intern. For additional information on any of these programs, please contact Mr. Gary B. Bartee director of leadership development, or Ms. Susan M. Beckwith by email or by calling 240-740-3207.

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Assistant Principal (AP) Applicant Pool

  • The Assistant Principal (AP) works under the direction of the principal and assists with administering and supervising the school program and providing educational leadership for students and staff members consistent with the educational goals of the community. The AP works to establish a climate conducive to learning, planning, coordinating programs, affecting change, and decision making.
  • Requirements include a master's degree from an accredited college or university with an emphasis in supervision, educational administration, school curriculum, or a closely related field; a minimum of five years of successful teaching, counseling, PPW, or psychology experience; three years of successful leadership experience; Observing and Analyzing Teaching 1 for Aspiring Administrators (recommended but not required); Future Administrators' Workshop (recommended but not required); and must meet Maryland certification requirements for Administrator 1 or elementary or secondary or special education principal/supervisor.
  • Interested internal (MCPS) AP Pool applicants, please refer to the detailed instructions at:  Internal AP Pool Applicants
  • Interested external (non-MCPS) AP Pool applicants, please refer to the detailed instructions at:  External AP Pool Applicants


Future Administrators Workshop (FAW) Series

MCPS is looking for motivated, dedicated, skillful, and creative people to become school-based administrators. Research shows that effective school administrators play a critical role in the success of schools and their students. The Future Administrator Workshop (FAW) series offers a valuable insight into the life of a school administrator. FAW is offered every fall of each school year. Registration opens in PDO each spring.

Attendance at the four-session FAW series is highly recommended (but not required) for entering the Assistant Principal (AP) Applicant Pool and is open to all MCPS employees with a minimum of three years of teacher-level experience who are considering a position in Administration and Supervision (A&S). Completion or enrollment in an A&S Certification Program for an Admin Certification is highly recommended.  The workshop series provides an overview of what MCPS is looking for in its leaders, explains requirements for admission into the AP Applicant Pool, prepares candidates for the interview process, and describes the MCPS Leadership Development Program.  Participants must attend all four sessions in the FAW Series to receive a certificate for the course.  Assistant School Administrators (ASAs) who attended the required first year ASA seminars will receive the FAW certificate. The FAW certificate is valid for three years, and it can be validated again by taking the FAW Refresher session.  For answers to questions about the FAW series, contact Mr. Gary B. Bartee director of leadership development, or Ms. Susan M. Beckwith by email or by calling 240-740-3207.

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Assistant School Administrator (ASA) Applicant Pool

  • An Assistant School Administrator (ASA) works under the direction of the principal in a team effort with administration and staff.  The ASA assists in monitoring school discipline, parent/community outreach, administering and supervising student related school activities, and conducting staff observations.  This is an 11-month position.
  • Requirements include a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university (master's degree desirable); five years of successful teaching experience; at least one of those years must be in MCPS; three years of school-based leadership experience or central service administrator/central services instructional specialist experience; and Observing and Analyzing Teaching 1 (preferred).
  • Interested ASA applicants, please refer to the detailed instructions at:  ASA Applicant

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Contact Us

Leadership Development Unit
850 Hungerford Drive, Room 162
Rockville 20850

Mr. Gary B. Bartee
Director, Leadership Development

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