Aspiring Leader Fellowship Program


In 2016, I CAN SCHOOLS will launch its third leader fellowship program designed to challenge and strengthen exceptional, early career leaders. The goal is to develop a strong cohort of principals and deans who are ready for the challenges of opening charter schools in inner-city neighborhoods for the 2017 – 2018 school year for the following regions of the United States: Ohio (Cleveland, Akron, Maple Heights, Canton and Cincinnati) and Indianapolis, Indiana.


Potential applicants should possess at least 3 years of successful teaching and/or leadership experience in an urban setting. Bachelor’s degree required, master’s degree preferred; non-education majors welcome IF applicant meets the 3 year successful teaching/leading requirement. Applicant must be willing to temporarily relocate to Northeast Ohio or Indianapolis for the 12 month fellowship and then permanently relocate to one of the cities listed above.

Fellowship Overview

The 15 month paid fellowship features daily, on-site shadowing of highly-successful principals and deans in the I CAN SCHOOLS network. In real-time, fellows will observe the routine/non-routine interactions of a leader. Executive coaching sessions will occur each month to solidify the learning of the on-site shadowing; this will include bi-monthly face-time meetings and phone conferences in which the fellow will discuss relationships, curriculum and instruction, and the culture of their school.

In addition to the I CAN SCHOOLS fellowship, fellows will be required to participate in a national fellowship that extends throughout the school year. The national fellowship will allow the fellow to observe both the art and science of being a leader. The program will also require fellows to travel to high performing charter schools across the country, studying best practices and meeting with leadership teams, to deepen the skill set of the soon-to-be leader. All costs associated with the national fellowship will be paid for by I CAN SCHOOLS.

Candidates who consider applying to the fellowship should be able to articulate their passion for diversity, evidence strong leadership skills, demonstrate commitment to leadership development, and a relentless focus on instructional / behavioral improvement and equity. Candidates should be early-career leaders or master teachers who are:

· Aspiring leaders, with demonstrated management competence
· Able to build a team of leaders
· Curious and reflective learners; innovative in their approaches toward leading
· Value-centered and focused on social justice / equity for all learners
· Evidence of culturally competent pedagogy
· Able to serve as coach or mentor
· Interested in shaping the future design of the Aspiring Leader Fellowship Program
· Evidence of a “Do Whatever It Takes” mindset

Out of state fellows will be required to temporarily relocate to Ohio or Indiana for the duration of the program. The fellowship program begins January 2016 and concludes in June 2017. Relocation stipends will be given to all out-of-state fellows. Corporate housing will be offered for two weeks to enable the fellow to find proper housing.

Fellowship Focus

Fellows work individually and together to:

· Apply instructional and leadership theory to the challenges of daily practice
· Closely assess the linkage of site decisions to student achievement
· Strengthen school culture
· Achieve specific improvement in developing strong leader lenses


The fellowship program will offer guest presentations (local and national guests), numerous relevant readings (journals/books), case studies, assigned homework, and focused time for problem-solving centered on site-specific challenges. Priority issues are defined by the fellows to meet their specific needs. Fellows will also participate in six school immersion projects that will lead up to the final school design strategic plan. Major themes include:

· The manager/leader challenge, including management of decision-making, resources, instruction and innovation
· Entrepreneurial vision and action in the context of the education system
· Instructional leadership and coaching to raise achievement for all students
· Beyond the rhetoric: social justice and equity issues; strategies for results
· Building strong teacher leadership for continuous school improvement & leading leaders
· Aligning resources to mission
· Personal vision, balance, and growth

Fellows will also take courses at the University of California at Berkeley and the Harvard Principal Leadership Institute (courses to be paid for by I CAN SCHOOLS).

Program Outcomes

Successful fellows will receive an excellent rating from their mentoring principal. This will include an in-depth evaluation in the following areas: relationships, curriculum / instruction, culture and customer service. All fellows will be required to obtain a letter of endorsement and recommendation from at least 2 staff on the I CAN SCHOOLS management team. These letters will show successful leadership execution and demonstrated ability to become a founding leader of an I CAN SCHOOL.

To apply visit and go to “Careers,” scroll to “Aspiring Leader Fellowship Program” and complete the online application. No applications will be accepted after November 1st, 2015. The 2016 – 2017 Cohort III fellowship will begin January 2016.