Leadership Academy Marks 30th Anniversary; 20 years for Regional Professional Development Centers


Two hallmarks of excellence in Missouri’s history of education professional development are marking anniversaries. Leadership Academy has offered training in the central principles of development for school leaders for three decades, celebrating the graduation of its 30th class this year. The 2015-16 Leadership Academy this week kicked off its year-long training for more than 100 school leaders from around the state.

Also this year, Regional Professional Development Centers (RPDCs) are celebrating 20 years of support and technical assistance for educators while providing equity of access to professional learning. The centers have become the “go-to” service for professional growth in knowledge, skill and best practices.

“The longevity of Leadership Academy and the RPDCs are evidence of their value for educators,” said Paul Katnik, assistant commissioner of the Department’s Office of Educator Quality. “High-performing schools have effective leaders and teachers, and we’ve heard consistently for 30 years that the Leadership Academy offered by the RPDCs is the best professional development available.”

Leadership Academy was founded in St. Louis in 1984-85 as Principals Academy. The RPDCs were established 10 years later. Through this structure, high quality professional development has been provided for decades to Missouri teachers and school leaders.

Preparing, developing and supporting effective educators is one of the primary goals of Missouri’s Top 10 by 20 initiative, an effort to raise student achievement to rank among the top 10 states by 2020.