Improving the Future of Principal Training

This is a series of articles profiling the University of Connecticut’s efforts to strengthen its principal training program. The university is one of seven institutions participating in The Wallace Foundation's University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI), which seeks to help improve training of future principals so they are better prepared to ensure quality instruction and schools. 

The University of Connecticut's Administrator Preparation Program (UCAPP) is committed to developing and preparing transformational school leaders with the competence and disposition to effect school policies and practices that realize equitable achievement, participation, service, and support outcomes for every student.

Changing Principal Preparation to Help Meet School Needs

Group of students sitting at desks in a circle.  Text reads: UConn Principal Prep Program.  Photo credit: Wallace Foundation

A University of Connecticut director describes his program’s attempts to improve principal training and equip new administrators to lead today’s schools. More...

Taking Principal Training to the Real World

Joanne Manginelli discussing with two affiliates from the Wallace Foundation.  Photo credit: Wallace Foundation

The University of Connecticut strengthens supports to help aspiring principals navigate new roles. More...

It Takes a Village to Train an Effective Principal

Dr. Richard Gonzales shaking hands with a UPPI affiliate.  Text reads: UConn Principal Prep Program.  Photo credit: Wallace Foundation

Close partnerships with school districts and the state help the University of Connecticut strengthen principal training. More...

Weaving Equity into the Fabric of Principal Training

Snapshot of students listening to a presentation from their seats.  Text reads: UConn Principal Prep Program.  Photo credit: Wallace Foundation

In its redesigned principal prep program, UConn is working to prepare leaders who will help ensure equity in education. More...

A Road to More Effective Principals Begins in One University’s Classrooms

UPPI instructor presenting in an auditorium during the 2019 UCAPP Change Project Day. Text reads: UConn Principal Prep Program. Photo credit: Wallace Foundation

A University of Connecticut professor describes how one principal preparation program is redesigning its curriculum to begin improving principal training. More...

Embracing the Unknown in New Approaches to Principal Preparation

Dr. Richard Gonzales at a conference table with three other UPPI affiliates.  Text reads: UConn Principal Prep Program.  Photo Credit: Wallace Foundation

University of Connecticut faculty members reflect on adaptations they made to strengthen their principal preparation program. More...

Learning to Navigate the Uncertainties of School Leadership

Auditorium filled room of students listening.  Text reads: UConn Principal Prep Program.  Photo credit: Wallace Foundation

Four aspiring principals at the University of Connecticut get a glimpse of the work that lies ahead. More...

Administrator Tyrone Richardson Excels While Inspiring Others

Tyrone Richardson
Photo courtesy of Tyrone Richardson

The Excellence in Educational Leadership Award is an annual recognition by the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) for practicing school administrators, who have concurrently made contributions to the improvement of administrator preparation. This year, a member of the University of Connecticut Administrator Preparation Program (UCAPP) faculty, Tyrone Richardson, was recognized with this award.

Richardson has served for the past six years as Principal of Betances STEM Magnet School in Hartford, CT. He holds a B.A. in Theater Arts/Communication/Elementary Education from Western Connecticut State University, an M.S. in Education from Cambridge College, and his Principal Certification 092 from Central Connecticut State University. As an alumnus of Hartford Public Schools, Richardson has a special connection with the community, and he is deeply dedicated to the success of Hartford students. At UConn, Richardson is involved with UCAPP and the UPPI Wallace redesign effort.

Richardson has worked with UCAPP for the past three years, designing and presenting class seminars on subjects ranging from the budgeting process and building teams as a leader to crisis management. This past year, he also served as a professor in practice for UCAPP PLUS courses. During class sessions, he brought practical and real-life experiences to the theories and research presented by faculty. .

Within UCAPP, Richardson serves as what is known as a mentor principal. In this role, he mentors aspiring administrators in the UCAPP program by providing them access to the school, working as a leadership role model, and assigning them an active role on the team. Richardson also supports UCAPP staff with program implementation and recently joined members at a national conference where they presented best practices, and were exposed to many rich ideas.

“He has contributed in substantive ways to the University of Connecticut’s administrator preparation program by leading workshops on topics in Educational Leadership, collaborating with University faculty to teach issues in relevant and rigorous ways, and mentoring aspiring principals from across the state of Connecticut,” remarked Associate Professor of Educational Leadership,
Dr. Sarah Woulfin.

Richardson did not always envision becoming a principal, but considered it after one of his previous principals identified his strengths, and encouraged him to join a leadership cohort. As a teacher, he always enjoyed helping students, and he then realized that by supporting teachers and other administrators he can impact the lives of even more students.

In addition to his enthusiasm in the classroom, Richardson is also an active voice on Twitter. He tweets pictures of students in the classroom as well as on field trips. Additionally, he uses it as a platform to recognize teachers, staff and students for enacting the school’s value and mission. This untraditional platform sets Richardson apart and offers new channels of communication with faculty and students.

For aspiring educational leaders, Richardson offers this piece of advice,

“Keep thinking about our future and the evolution of education as you prepare students to interact with one another. We can’t continue to teach students in the same fashion that we were taught in. Lead, model, be innovative, and put yourself out there to make mistakes. Above all be patient and remember you are working with kids. School is for them.”

UCAPP UPPI Welcomes New Program Coordinator

Joanne Manginelli has been named the University of Connecticut’s program coordinator for the Wallace Foundation’s University Preparation Program Initiative (UPPI) in the Department of Educational LeadershipUCAPP's New UPPI Program Coordinator, Joanne Manginelli. Prior to this role, Manginelli was Director of Professional Learning and subsequently Executive Leadership Coach of Hartford Public Schools, where she helped design and recruit for the UConn/Hartford PLUS Administrator Preparation (UCAPP) program cohort.

The Wallace Foundation UPPI project is a $47 million initiative to research, improve upon, and change the way that principals are trained. At UConn, the UPPI team will work on improving the UCAPP program to meet the goals set through the Wallace initiative. Manginelli has worked closely in developing and implementing principal preparation programs, and comes to this role hoping to use her knowledge and experience to help meet the goals established for the UCAPP program. She has also served as an Adjunct Professor for the UCAPP program.

The director of UCAPP, Dr. Richard Gonzales, describes the UConn UPPI project as a “vast undertaking”, for which Manginelli will be an “asset to organizing and contributing to the continuous improvement effort.” The Wallace Foundation emphasizes that this initiative is a vital one for improving schools and education as a whole.

“I am really looking forward to working with the UCAPP and UPPI team members,” Manginelli says. “They are all exemplary educators and I value their commitment to this work.”

Manginelli obtained her BS in Music Education at the University of Bridgeport in 1975. She earned her Master of Science in Early Childhood Education at Southern Connecticut State University in 1993, along with her sixth year diploma in Educational Leadership in 2005.

“She brings a wealth of quality experience as a practitioner and knows our program well,” says Dr. Gonzales. “We are pleased to welcome Joanne to the UCAPP team.”

Joanne can be reached at Joanne.Manginelli@uconn.edu