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Strategic Initiatives

Massachusetts Aspiring Principal Fellowship
2024-25 School Year

Join the Massachusetts Aspiring Principal Fellowship

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) understands the pivotal role that school leaders play in empowering student success and achievement. To this end, DESE has established the Massachusetts Aspiring Principal Fellowship, a one-year program for aspiring school leaders that seeks to cultivate a strong and diverse pipeline of effective school principals who are committed to championing culturally and linguistically sustaining learning communities, equity-driven leadership, and anti-racist practices. This program aims to inspire and empower aspiring principals to lead with vision, passion, and purpose and to create a brighter future for all students. To launch this inaugural fellowship, DESE has partnered with The Lynch Leadership Academy.

Who should apply?

Individuals who have:

  • Aspirations to move into the principalship role within the next 1–5 years.
  • A strong and unwavering commitment to equity for all students.
  • An openness to learning and growing within a collaborative community of adult learners.

What can fellows and mentors expect from the Massachusetts Aspiring Principal Fellowship?

Designed for both fellows and their mentors, participants will engage in 10 to 14 hours of high-quality, job-embedded professional development and coaching with a combination of virtual or on-site monthly meetings, field-based experiences, engaging feedback cycles with mentors, and individual coaching with the vendor to advance the following:

  • Understand and demonstrate culturally responsive and linguistically sustaining practices, equity-driven leadership, and anti-racist leadership competencies.
  • Disrupt and transform leadership practices by prioritizing cultural responsiveness, equity, and anti-racism.
  • Engage in high-impact, equity-centered coaching aligned with the Professional Standards for Administrative Leadership.
  • Engage in experiences in areas identified as essential for success as school leaders in Massachusetts public schools.
  • Prioritize racial equity in instruction, curriculum, and leadership and to acknowledge the impact of race on their work.
  • Develop the skills and tools to create a supportive and healthy learning environment for all students, fostering their sense of worth and connection while preparing them for academic excellence and success in Massachusetts public schools.
  • Build a network of professional peers to foster learning and support.

Fellow Eligibility

  • Educators with a minimum of 3 years of teaching experience.
  • Currently employed and will be employed in SY 2024-2025 in a Massachusetts public school.
  • Has an identified and committed mentor principal for the 2024-2025 school year.

Mentor Eligibility

  • At least three full years of experience under an Initial or Professional Principal/Assistant Principal license
  • Trained as a mentor in the professional role of Assistant Principal/Principal as defined in 603 CMR 7.02.
  • Currently employed and will be employed in SY 2024-2025 in a Massachusetts public school. (Must be in the same school as the fellow)

Who should apply?

  • Individuals who aspire to become school principals* in Massachusetts public schools.
  • Individuals who are committed to promoting cultural responsiveness, equity, and anti-racism in their leadership practices.

*The Aspiring Principals Fellowship is aligned with many programmatic requirements for the Administrative Apprenticeship/Internship route to licensure. Additional licensure requirements may still need to be met.

How to Apply?

The application submission window for the 2024-2025 MA Aspiring Principal Fellowship is now closed. If you are interested in learning more about the 2025-2026 MA Aspiring Principal Fellowship please complete the interest form.

Application Timeline and Process

  • Application Opens: March 20, 2024
  • Priority Submission Date: April 26, 2024
  • Application Submission Window: March 18, 2024 – April 26, 2024
  • Candidate Interviews: April 30, 2024 – May 19, 2024
  • " Final Candidate Selection: June 7, 2024 — All applicants regardless of selection will be notified by this date.

Additional Questions?

Please email us at .

Last Updated: May 20, 2024

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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