Leadership Academy Program Details Leadership Academy Program Details Leadership Academy Program Details Leadership Academy Program Details Leadership Academy Program Details

School of Graduate and Professional Studies

Leadership Academy

Leadership Academy


The Leadership Academy, a component of the College's Cultures of Character Initiatives, provides professional learning and mentoring opportunities for elementary, middle school and high school leaders. It will explore character and character development as a means to leading a school or department effectively. The aim of character development is the cultivation of good sense, practical wisdom, and the capacity to choose intelligently between alternatives. These attributes of character development become a foundation for effective school leadership. A school leader grounded in morals and virtues can positively impact a learning environment.

Illinois Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development 4th Annual SEL Summit

Register for Summit

North Central's Leadership Academy will be introduced this summer during the IL ASCD SEL Summit: Well-Being, Equity and Recovery. The event is to be held virtually July 21 - 22. North Central is a gold level sponsor for the event, and will be hosting 5 dynamic speakers.

Click here for speaker information

Yearlong Leadership Academy

The Academy will launch in partnership with IL ASCD in September. Complete the request information form to learn more about the Academy and to receive notification when registration is open.

Academy Format

Year At A Glance:
  • 4 Leadership full days to encourage leaders to cultivate an environment and workplace culture in which all participants can flourish and to engage leaders in self-development and personal growth. 
    • October 21, 2021 
    • December 9, 2021 
    • January 20, 2022
    • March 3, 2022
  • 4 Connection half days to engage participants in self-development and personal growth through goal-setting and planning.
    • November 
    • December/January 
    • February
    • March/April
  • Grant Project Planning day
    • April 2022
Leadership Day Format

Morning (9AM-12PM)

  • The Speaker Series features experts in the field who will share research, data, and interpretations on character education as a means to academic improvement and success.

Lunch (12PM-1PM) - Networking Opportunities

Afternoon (1PM-2:30PM & 2:30PM-3:30PM)

Led by Coaches

  • The Reflective Sessions are designed to construct how to apply the learning from the Speaker Series into one’s personal life and professional practice.
Connection Days

Led by Coaches

  • One on one and small group mentoring/coaching
  • Apply the learning of the Speakers Series and Reflective Sessions into practice through goal-setting and implementation.



  • October 21 Inspirational - A Culture of Character
    • Speaker:  Clifton Taulbert
    • Title: The Eight Habits of the Heart and an Entrepreneurial Mindset
    • Book: Who Owns the Ice House? Eight Life Lessons From an Unlikely Entrepreneur (2010, Gary G. Schoeniger and Clifton L. Taulbert)


  • December 9 Foundational - A Culture of Character Matters
    • Speaker:  Anthony Muhammad
    • Book: Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division (2009, Anthony Muhammad)
    • Topic: Cultivating healthy school cultures & creating positive environments in which staff not only tolerate change but also seek and embrace changes


  • January 20th  First Steps - A Culture of Character Paradigm
    • Speakers: Mindy Bier/ Marvin Berkowitz
    • Book: PRIMED for Character Education: Six Design Principles for School Improvement (2021, Marvin W. Berkowitz)
    • Topic: PRIMED & Character Education


  • March 3rd Forward thinking - Cultivating a Culture of Character
    • Speaker:  Michael Fullan
    • Book: Indelible Leadership: Always Leave Them Learning (2016, Michael Fullan)
    • Topics:
      • ​​​​​​​Make a deep impact today that leaves a growing legacy for tomorrow.
      • Learn to lead well. 
      • Use six specific leadership attributes to stimulate deep learning—and deep leadership—that transforms schools for the future.


Click here for more speaker information

The Cultures of Character Project Grant will integrate learning and development from the professional speakers’ series, extended debrief/reflection, and mentoring/goal-setting experience. Mentors will assist and coach participants to apply, initiate, and assess their grant-funded project.

The Project Grant is an opportunity for the participant to apply the acquired learning into a year-long professional experience dedicated to positively impacting the school’s culture leading to both individual and collective improvement and excellence.

Click here to access and download the SEL Summit Flyer

Joe Sanfelippo                            

Lead From Where You Are:  Leadership is not a title, it’s an action...and it starts from within. Identifying leadership traits in yourself changes your mindset when thinking about leading those around you. Part of our responsibilities as leaders are to identify leadership traits in others. The opportunities are endless for those who choose to lead...it’s our job to find those traits, focus our efforts on growth opportunities, and foster an environment where everyone has a chance to lead. (July 21st 12PM-12:50PM)

Thomas Murray          

 Staying Personal & Authentic in the Midst of Adversity:  The pandemic has brought uncertainty at every turn. Regardless of what happens outside our school walls, together we can work to create meaningful opportunities for those we serve when we hyper-focus on the things that matter most. The work is hard, but our kids are worth it! (July 21st 2PM-2:50PM)

Culture of Character Presenters

Jay Darley

The "Character" of an I.E. School:  Join us to learn about Forest Park Individual Education School (Joliet IL) an elementary magnet program where character skills are embedded into every part of the school culture. Hear testimonials from students, parents, and the Principal of a 2020 National School of Character. (July 22nd 10AM-10:50AM.)

Vicki Zakrzewski         

How Educators Can Help Build a Kinder, More Equitable World: The work of educators shapes human beings—which means that education helps shape our world. So how can formal education play a role in helping educators build a kinder, more compassionate and equitable world?  (July 22nd  12PM-12:50PM)

Amy Eva                         

Creating a Culture of Self-Care and Emotional Resilience: “Self-care is not a luxury. It is a human requisite, a professional necessity, and an ethical imperative,” say psychologists.  If we want to transform our educational system, we need to start with our school leaders and teachers. (July 22nd 1PM-1:50PM)






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