American Express Awards Approximately $2.5 Million in Grants to Five Innovative Principal Leadership Programs

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American Express (NYSE:AXP) and the National Association of Secondary
School Principals today announced the five winners of the Principals
Path to Leadership grant, a giving program created to expand effective
principal preparation programs.

The winners—selected from more than 70 applicants—will receive a total
of approximately $2.5 million to increase their capacity and impact over
the next three years with an eye toward long-term sustainability. The
grants are awarded at a time of heightened awareness of principals’
crucial roles in school improvements.

“We have built several effective global programs to develop the critical
leadership skills of nonprofit and social purpose leaders,” said Timothy
J. McClimon, president, American Express Foundation. “We are pleased to
partner with NASSP to award grants to these five exemplary organizations
that have already made strides in principal leadership training. By
giving more principals access to these programs, we hope to help
students and schools thrive.”

“Principal leadership is an essential component of any schoolwide
improvement initiative, especially now as schools remodel their internal
structures to implement college and career-ready standards,” said NASSP
Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti. “We deeply value the partnership of
American Express in our shared goal of providing the best preparation
possible for the next wave of principals who will advance student

The five winning organizations and programs are:

(Oxford, Ohio): This grant will support Learning
Leaders for Learning Schools, a partnership between the Arizona chapter
of Learning Forward and the Arizona Department of Education. The program
will provide leadership training to 80 current and aspiring principals
and include seminars, small communities of practice, and personalized

State Department of Education
(Montgomery, Alabama): This
grant will support the statewide implementation of the Alabama Strong:
Principals as Catalysts for School Improvement program. As part of the
Alabama State Department of Education’s commitment to an integrated
learning supports framework state rollout, 50 districts and
approximately 300 principals are currently involved in the initiative.
This funding will expand the work being done by adding in-depth
leadership development, as well as coaching and training for 71
principals and their leadership teams in high poverty areas throughout

Leadership Academy
(Long Island City, New York): This
grant will support the Aspiring Principals Program, which is being
expanded to serve multiple districts in the New York Tristate area, to
prepare and support 50 aspiring principals and train approximately 50
local mentor principals. The program will include a multi-week summer
intensive leadership training, as well as face-to-face and
online-facilitated learning sessions throughout the academic year.

Independent School District
(Arlington, Texas): The grant
will support the Emerging Leaders Program, designed to strengthen the
leadership skills of 105 assistant and aspiring principals, directing
them on a path to principalship. The program, in partnership with New
Leaders, a national nonprofit that develops school leaders, will include
a summer induction session, ongoing webinars, and one-on-one coaching.
The program will develop the participants’ application of learning,
which will promote increased student outcomes.

Carolina Principals and Assistant Principals’ Association

(Raleigh, North Carolina):
This grant will support Distinguished
Leadership in Practice, a rigorous leadership development program
reaching 135 early-career principals and assistant principals. The
blended program will include face-to-face sessions every other month,
followed by a six-week online, application-based course. The goal of the
program is for participants to internalize leadership skills which will
enable them to transform their schools.

The winning programs were announced today at the National Press Club in
Washington, D.C. Leaders of the five programs participated in a panel
discussion about the importance of and need for principal leadership
moderated by Education Week Assistant Managing Editor Lesli Maxwell.
Today’s announcement coincides with the launch of National
Principals Month

The Principals Path to Leadership grant program represents one of
American Express’ largest investments in education leadership training
to date and continues its commitment to leadership development across
the social sector. One of American Express’ longest-running non-profit
and social purpose leadership programs is the American Express
Leadership Academy, which launched in 2008 and connects emerging leaders
with training to strengthen the leadership pipeline in these critical
areas. To date, American Express has hosted more than 70 Leadership
Academy sessions with 10 partners in nine countries, including the
United States, the United Kingdom, India, Japan, Mexico, Canada, China,
Senegal and Kenya. More than 2,200 emerging nonprofit and social sector
leaders worldwide have benefitted from the American Express Leadership

The grant program launched in late spring with a call for applications
among districts, states, and U.S.-based 501(c)(3) organizations that
manage programs to train new and emerging K-12 principals. A selection
committee comprising American Express staff, NASSP professional
development staff, NASSP-recognized principals, and other education
leadership experts reviewed applications and selected grantees in

NASSP and American Express will work with the grantees to collect and
disseminate effective practices and other data in the hopes of reaching
more leaders and having a broader impact.

For more information about the grant program and the winners, visit

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with
access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build
business success. Learn more at
and connect with us on,,,

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About American Express: Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow

One of American Express’ three philanthropic platforms is Developing
New Leaders for Tomorrow
. Under this giving initiative, which
recognizes the significance of strong leadership in the nonprofit and
social purpose sectors, American Express makes grants focused on
training high potential emerging leaders to tackle important issues in
the 21st century. Nearly 16,000 emerging nonprofit and social sector
leaders worldwide have benefitted from American Express leadership
programs, including the American Express Leadership Academy among
others. Launched in 2008, the American Express Leadership Academy
addresses the growing deficit of leadership talent in the nonprofit
sector by bringing together emerging leaders from a diverse set of
nonprofit, social sector and non-governmental organizations.


National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
is the
leading organization of and voice for middle level and high school
principals, assistant principals, and school leaders from across the
United States and 35 countries around the world. The association
connects and engages school leaders through advocacy, research,
education, and student programs. NASSP advocates on behalf of all school
leaders to ensure the success of each student and strengthens school
leadership practices through the design and delivery of high-quality
professional learning experiences. Reflecting its long-standing
commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National
Honor Society
, National
Junior Honor Society
, National
Elementary Honor Society
, and National
Association of Student Councils


Media Contacts:
American Express
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