What is the New Leader Academy?

High-quality leadership is essential to the success of any school. It is the principal, more than anyone else, who is in a position to ensure that excellent teaching and learning are part of every classroom. As instructional champions, a new leader’s primary role is to oversee curriculum and manage the development of teachers. At the same time, new leaders must manage an array of resources and build a collaborative, results-oriented school culture. For the first few years of a principalship, this role can be daunting.

Coaching, along with valuable support systems throughout the year, is critical to building a strong base for success in the early years of a principalship.

In the year-long New Leader Academy, participants work with a cohort of emerging leaders to unpack common leadership challenges, clarify their vision of an effective school, establish core values, and develop the foundational skills for effective school leadership.

Participants will hone in on ways to:

  • Assume and communicate a leadership position with a clear vision for success
  • Create community support for the school’s mission
  • Build a sustainable culture of learning that continuously improves instruction for all learners
  • Identify, foster, and build capacity in a leadership team
  • Foster a culture of improvement, collaboration, and inclusiveness for all
  • Manage time, data, operations, and resources to maximize student achievement
  • Identify priorities and organize instructional resources


  • Data analysis processes
  • Collaborative instructional planning structures
  • Understanding of the principal’s role in championing process standards
  • Ability to lead intervention systems
  • Support strategies for managing teachers and their concerns
  • Approach for scheduling time and boundaries for self-care



Interested in expanding your leadership coaching experience? Consider the lead4ward kick-start coaching experience! Learn more–>


2021-2022 Membership

Membership year – June 1-May 31

2022-23 registration opening March 2022 (email to get on the list)

year-long support

8 live webinars (view calendar)

New leader guide

Tools and resources

Access to learning video library

Bonus in-person session if registered for the 2021 think! conference

audience and questions

Principals new to lead4ward and/or profession



Sophia Acevedo

With 16 years of successful campus leadership experience, Sophia believes in the power of the principalship. She understands the changing demands of this role and what it means to have “boots on the ground.” Her deep commitment to building leadership capacity in those around her results in high-performing campuses, including a National Blue Ribbon Schools nomination. Sophia knows that one person cannot do it all, and that the principal is only as strong as the campus team.