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The Mary Jane Patterson Fellowship for Aspiring Principals

Photo of Mary Jane Patterson

The Mary Jane Patterson Fellowship, named after the first African American principal in DCPS, is an internal leadership pipeline dedicated to fulfilling the need for dynamic instructional leaders in our schools. Founded in 2013, the Patterson Fellowship has been cited by the Wallace Foundation and the Fordham Institute for its innovative approach.

Fellowship Characteristics:

  • 30-month learning journey, including a year-long paid residency with an experienced DCPS mentor principal
  • Standards-aligned, cohort-based curriculum in weekly sessions led by the Fellowship’s Learning Director
  • Executive coaching and support from DCPS senior leaders through Fellows’ first year of the principalship
  • Coursework with partners such as Georgetown University, NYC Leadership Academy, and national leaders on issues of race and equity

The ideal candidate embodies the following:

Instructional Expertise: Has a track record of effective teaching and experience as an instructional leader

Culture of Feedback: Thrives on giving and receiving candid feedback and continually reflects on his/her practice

Commitment to Equity: Understands issues of race and class, how they affect student experiences, and marshals resources to ensure positive outcomes for all students

Servant Leadership: Approaches leadership with humanity, working to engage, empower, and support others

Growth Mindset: Believes in the potential for continuous learning and development in themselves and others, especially adults

Creative Problem-Solving: Goes above and beyond – devoting time, energy, and creativity – to address entrenched, systemic problems

Additional requirements include:

  • Current DCPS employee
  • Master’s Degree
  • 5 years of pedagogical experience, including at least two years of teaching and 1 year of instructional leadership experience

Contact Information

Email [email protected] for more information