Education and Academic Support! / Leadership & Mentorship

REACH/ELITE High School Principal Initiative

A lengthy body of education research identifies principals as second only to effective teachers as the most important in-school factor influencing student achievement. In any school, the principal is a pivotal figure, the person not only responsible for management of the school building and supervision of students and staff, but also the school’s instructional leader. In 2016, the foundation initiated a pilot program with Edward Tom, principal of Heckscher grantee Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics, and the nonprofit-serving REACH Educational Solutions. The pilot is called ELITE (“Executive Leadership Institute for Transformation Educators”), and it is a unique collaborative leadership model for enhancing middle school and high school programming to achieve greater student achievement gains and college readiness. Tom and two other veteran principals, Ramon Gonzalez and Reginald Landeau, will each mentor three other principals, in partnership with REACH coaching experts, and with support from the Columbia University Coaching Certificate Program.

In total, 11 high schools will be served through this initiative (three led by mentor principals and eight led by mentee principals). Each principal established goals for his or her school within a framework developed in collaboration with REACH. After a needs assessment, the foundation provides supplemental funds to the nine schools led by mentee principals to help them better meet student needs. Through the program, the three mentor principals will become certified leadership coaches in partnership with Columbia University’s Teachers College and Columbia Business School Executive Education.


The 2016 ELITE Schools are:

Academy for Careers in Television & Film

Bronx Center for Science and Math

Bronx High School for Law and Community Service

George J. Ryan Middle School 216

Institute for Health Professions at Cambria Heights

In-Tech Academy

Knowledge and Power Preparatory Academy International High School

Marble Hill High School for International Studies

The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology

Theatre Arts Production Company School

Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School