School Leadership

New Leaders Aspiring Principals Program (APP)

New Leaders (NL) Aspiring Principals Program (APP), a national nonprofit that develops transformational school leaders, aims to train tomorrow's principals to turn around underperforming schools and the lives of the students who attend them. The APP program provides apprentice principals with the solid academic foundation and real-world experience vital to success in transforming the country's lowest performing schools. The program is based on a rigorous curriculum as well as a full school year of on-the-job training. There are three major components:

  • Local programs: The majority of learning during the program takes place in our cities, where residents take on leadership roles in their placement sites and engage in coursework with local staff and seasoned New Leaders in their area.
  • National seminars: Residents gather as a national cohort multiple times during the year to learn from experts in the field and from each other.
  • Virtual learning: Trainings held through online webinars provide national content and resources to residents while also allowing them to learn on their own time.

During their first year as a principal, and through the second year for secondary school principals, each New Leader principal continues to receive professional development and support through the Principal Institute. New Leader principals join a network of almost 900 New Leaders across the country and have access to a wide range of resources and support at the local and national level.

Skills needed to enter the program or role:

  • Minimum of three years of full-time experience teaching in a K-12 classroom
  • Master's degree
  • Teaching certificate
  • Relentless drive to transform an underperforming public school
  • Firm belief that effective leadership practices have a direct impact on academic performance
  • Drive to make a real difference in the lives of students from low-income communities

Skills gained:

  • Ability to diagnose a school and build a first-year action plan
  • Ability to use data to drive instructional improvement
  • Ability to build school teams and align staff
  • Ability to create a school culture of high expectations
  • Development of personal leadership skills

Key dates:

  • For more information regarding key dates, please visit the NL website at


Randi Moore