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First Americans’ Educational Leadership Program hosts Transformative Leadership Academy

Program participants of the First Americans’ Educational Leadership (FAEL) Program's Transformative Leadership Academy

The First Americans’ Educational Leadership (FAEL) Program provided Professional Development for program participants and administrative mentors during its first Transformative Leadership Academy July 8-12.

The Transformative Leadership Academy was provided by Indigenous educational consulting firms ImagineEd, led by Dr. Priscilla Maynor and CinnamonWit under the direction of Dr. Brenda Deese. The first three days, ImagineEd focused on Exemplary Leadership, Improvement Science in Education, STEM Education and Contextual Populations.

The final days of the weeklong PD, CinnamonWit engaged participants in Culturally Responsive Leadership, Sensitivity Awareness and Social and Emotional Trauma. Participants completed two leadership assessments, the LPI 360 Leadership Practices Inventory and the OBeD Indigenous Inventory, to inform leadership practices. The academy ended traditionally with a Talking Circle led by Dr. Tiffany Locklear.

Dr. Zoe Locklear, interim dean of the School of Education, stated “The Transformative Leadership Academy provided a tremendous professional development opportunity to the FAEL program participants. The topics were timely and empowering for these aspiring school administrators. Each presentation enhanced both the personal and professional skill set for each participant in order for them to become effective school and community leaders.”

Reflecting on his workshop experience, FAEL participant Chad Brewer stated, “I have developed a desire to better understand STEM implementation while also acknowledging the importance of understanding culture and its impact within the school.” While another FAEL participant, Rebecca Chavis-Nolley stated “The Transformative Leadership Academy has opened the door of change for me as an aspiring leader. I now view barriers as opportunities and will celebrate the small successes and continue moving forward with the implementation of a PDSA cycle.”

Dr. Tiffany Locklear, who serves as a FAEL Program Mentor stated “The academy was a powerful experience for all constituents. The visionary leadership and skillset of the participants have the potential to improve educational outcomes for highly populated Indian communities.”

The academy was led by Dr. Camille Goins who serves as the FAEL Project Director. “We have a strong cohort of aspiring American Indian administrators and I am truly excited about their future roles as Indigenous Leaders. This program is helping them to develop the capacity to effectively bring about positive and lasting change for our American Indian students, families, and communities within this region,” Goins said.

Overall, the Transformative Leadership Academy informed and empowered participants to lead in their professional roles.

The project, which is funded over the next five years through the US Department of Education, Office of Indian Education, is designed to improve the quality of preparation services and culturally responsive leadership offered to aspiring American Indian administrators enrolled in the UNCP School Administration program that allows them to work in high needs schools to improve educational outcomes for AI students. The project will serve 20 students. The initial group of nine program participants who enrolled in January 2019 in addition to three program mentors and FAEL project staff participated in the professional development.

For more information regarding the FAEL Program, visit