Two Van Buren School District principals have completed Phase III of the Master Principal Institute at the Arkansas Leadership Academy.

They are Lisa Miller, principal of VBHS Freshman Academy, and Dr. Karen Endel, principal of Butterfield Trail Middle School.

Established in 1991, the Arkansas Leadership Academy is a nationally recognized statewide partnership of 13 universities, nine professional associations, 15 educational cooperative, Arkansas departments of education, higher education and workforce education, Arkansas Educational Television Network, Tyson Foods Inc, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Walton Family Foundation.

Lisa Miller said her experience in Phase III of the Master Principal Institute was amazing.

“This opportunity has had a profound impact on me as a building leader, teacher and teammate,” Miller said. “I cannot say enough positive things about the experience.”

Endel said the Master Principal Institute provided life-changing professional learning.

“The networking, with excellent principals from across our state, as well as the relevant and timely resources have supported our school improvement work, for both teachers and students,” Endel said. “Thank you to the Van Buren School District and Dr. Harold Jeffcott for supporting this outstanding learning experience.

The Master Principal Program was established by the Arkansas 84th General Assembly in the Second Extraordinary Session of 2003 and signed into law as Act 44. The Master Principal Program is a three phased program.

Selection for Phase I participants is based on responses to questions on the application and on achieving a state-wide balance using demographic information. After successful completion of Phase I, the principal may choose to submit an application for Phase II. Admission to the second phase of the program requires submission of a portfolio documenting the application of the lessons learned from the first phase and the results of that work to improve student and adult learning in that school.

To be admitted to the third phase, principals must complete a rigorous portfolio application process that includes evidence of their impact on education at the district, state, and local levels. These portfolios are evaluated by stakeholders in education from Arkansas as well as from across the nation. Portfolio scorers receive training through the Arkansas Leadership Academy.

After successful completion of all three phases, principals are eligible to apply for master principal designation. Principals will be evaluated on student performance, principal performance, and school performance through a portfolio application and possible school site visit.