September 27th, 2019
Williams completes leadership institute
FRI. | 07-29-22 | NEWS
The Pitt County Schools Teacher Leadership Institute is a leadership development program created through a collaboration between the Educational Program Services and Human Resources departments of Pitt County Schools, with significant support from the Pitt County Educational Foundation.
Rose Spanish teacher Cynthia Williams was among the other teachers of Pitt County who have recently graduated from this year’s Pitt County Schools Teacher Leadership Institute.
“The institute is a two-year-long program, so I entered the program around two years ago,” Williams said. “I was the only teacher from Rose chosen for this cohort.”
The institute has a very selective process when it comes to choosing which applicants to admit to the program. They look for teacher leaders who they believe will support teachers and schools in their school system. Rose teachers such as Amity Kea, Stephanie Noles, Julie Berry, Karen Medlin and Ashley Hutchinson are all graduates of the leadership institute in.
“In your application, you have to show them that you already have some leadership skills that they can cultivate and that you can grow from, so you
Photo contributed by Cynthia Williams
have to sort of have a vision of growth and leadership,” Williams said. “The application process can be very difficult as well, seeing as I had applied before and I did not get in, so you don’t always get in.”
The institute holds many values including leadership skills, teamwork, positive communication skills and professional development. The institute believes leadership proficiency improves formal leadership roles and overall empowers teachers to be leaders under any circumstances.
“The institute consisted of leadership classes, networking, making friends from other schools and a big capstone project at the end which was so exciting and such an honor to do,” Williams said. “There were 22 of us in the cohort from all teaching departments, so I now have 22 new teacher leader friends to bounce ideas off [of].”
While completing the institute, Williams created a new club during the 2021-2022 school year called Seeds of Growth, which is for Rose sophomores who display substantial academic potential and hold some leadership qualities of their own. Williams strives to grow her new program as she continues teaching at Rose.
“Seeds of Growth is a mentorship program for sophomores that connects them with community leaders such as business owners, lawyers, doctors, engineers and basically anyone else that has a successful career that’s actually from our area,” Williams said. “The kids experience relationship-building from people other than their teachers here at Rose who hold a career they may be interested in, and those same mentors could also go and share the positive experiences that they’ve had with our kids which would also be good for our school.”
Williams believes that the professional development courses provided by the institute have helped her build confidence and take charge more when it comes to handling things in her department.
“I’m much more outgoing now and much more likely to bring up beneficial ideas to Mr. Thomas whereas before I felt like I was a new teacher who was just sitting back and observing,” Williams said. “Now I have the skills to go ahead and put myself out there like me starting my program and being the leader of it so the institute has been an amazing experience and has helped me grow a lot.”