Anderson selected for leadership program

The new principal of Barnwell Elementary has received a $10,000 grant to attend a leadership program.

The funds were provided by the Carmen Nylund Foundation in Columbia. They will cover Dr. Carolyn Anderson’s tuition and travel expenses as she participates in the Learning Forward Academy over the next two and a half years.

The Learning Forward Academy, formerly the National Staff Development Council, has a vision of professional learning and teamwork in schools.

“Academy members are provided the opportunity to clarify, study, and solve authentic problems related to student learning in schools. Academy participants engage in collaborative problem-based learning to gain the knowledge they need to solve significant student learning problems,” according to a press release.

Anderson said she hopes the two-and-a-half year experience will increase her leadership capacity so she can help her school be the best. “I want to impact teacher efficacy which is going to increase student learning.” She wants to accomplish this by empowering teachers through professional development.

Anderson attended her first session in July in Toronto, Canada as she and other participants looked at the principles of professional development. She’s already implemented some of the things she learned, such as building consensus. She involved the custodians in discussing common goals and a common purpose, instead of just the teachers. “Every voice counts,” she said.

Another concept she’s already learned is about “stretch goals,” which are essentially setting goals higher than you ever thought you could accomplish. “Think beyond what you can see,” she said of how they are reachable. “That’s how we need to look at education.”

She is “extremely grateful”, especially to the Carmen Nylund Foundation, for the opportunity. She said she looks forward to the rest of the sessions, which will be held in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Vancouver, and Orlando.

Anderson is the daughter of Gloria and the late Samuel Allen Jr. of Barnwell. She resides in Barnwell with her daughter Kaitlin, a sixth grader at BES.