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Southeast Region

“MLDS is a valuable program for all administrators. Not only do new administrators get an opportunity to be supported by leaders with a wide variety of experiences, but veteran administrators get PD that refreshes them and keeps them up to date on educational trends. This program fosters that mindset and creates a huge network for area administrators.” – Jamie LaMonds, Principle, Farmington R-7 School District

“MLDS provides exceptional mentoring opportunities for new building leaders. The focus is on the right work, and it is relevant and practical. Being a building principal is hard, but the connections I have made through MLDS have brought me closer to my ultimate goal of being a transformational leader.” – Erica Weadon, Principal, Jackson R-2 School District

“Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a successful leader. Whether this is your first year or fifteenth year in educational administration, MLDS provides tools for continued career development. There have been many years of educational experience from leaders behind the scenes, compiling a complete program. The choice to invest is yours!” – Neal Glass, Superintendent, Cape Girardeau Public Schools

“MLDS has allowed over half the members of our administrative team to receive relevant, high-quality professional development which directly impacts their daily work in our district. The learning labs and walkthrough activities provide hands-on practice before implementing the procedures. Perry County School District will continue to enroll administrators in MLDS until all of us are fully trained.” – Andy Comstock, Superintendent, Perry County School District

Heart of Missouri Region

“I really appreciated the support of my mentor. She has continued to be a resource for me. She encouraged me to participate in Leadership Academy this year as well. I am so happy I took her advice. This experience has increased my network of support significantly and reminded me of why I am in the position that I am.” – Delora Scaggs, Principal, Jefferson City School District

“We have had several of our leaders participate in MLDS. It has proven to give them in initial tools that they need for a successful start. Camdenton School fully supports this program.” – Ryan Neal, Assistant Superintendent, Camdenton R-III School District

“Our Missouri Principals need the support that MLDS can provide in order to develop their own leadership skills and recruit and develop classroom teachers. MLDS will serve our school communities in a positive way by developing the leaders Missouri needs now and in the future. We speak from experience as all of our emerging leaders LCR3 are taking advantage of MLDS professional development opportunities.” – Mark Penny, Superintendent, Lincoln County R-III

Kansas City Region

“The Missouri Leadership Development System (MLDS) and Leadership Academy are integral in helping our emerging leaders in the state gain skills, perspectives, and lifelong learning. As a participant of Leadership Academy (LA) and Outdoor Leadership Experience (OLE) two decades ago, I still utilize the learning and experience in my professional and personal life. I’m a huge supporter of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) continuing this program that serves as a Lighthouse in the nation. I’m also so grateful for the impact it has on emerging leaders that I’ve had the pleasure of working with through ought the years. For anyone considering participating or having their staff participate, I fully endorse MLDS, LA, and OLE! They are the best professional development series a leader can have in our great state of Missouri.” – David Buck, Superintendent Lee’s Summit R-7

“I am very grateful for the opportunity that MLDS and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has granted me in the use of TimeTrack. This program helps keep me accountable for my time and reminds me when my day does reflect my priorities. It has forced me to rely on others and delegate tasks that take away from supporting the learning of Students, Teachers, and myself.” – Luis Posada, Assistant Principal, Guadalupe Centers

Northeast Region

“MLDS is a super support system for administrators and leaders of all levels of experience. Exceptional Leaders help other shine, and we need each other while leading during these unprecedented times more now than ever.” – Kerri Greenwell, Principal, North Shelby School District

“I have enjoyed my experience with MLDS. It’s great to have a network of administrators in similar positions and amounts of experience to collaborate with and bounce ideas off of. The content is informative and applicable.” – Katie Wayman, Principal, Schuyler R-1 Schools

“The MLDS program has taught me that the core of being a change agent for my school lies in empowering teachers and students. MLDS has supplied tools to do just that.” – Stacie McVey, Principal, Atlanta C-3 School District

“Our district benefits in countless ways through participation in MLDS. The opportunity provided to our newest administrators immediately upon their arrival here is simply priceless as they become plugged into the best leadership support program available; it helps our newest principals to lead with confidence and meld with the district leadership team.” – Parisa Stoddard, Superintendent, Moberly School District

“MLDS is a constant reminder that evolution is necessary and provides an opportunity to lead that change. It is inspiring to watch all the growth that happens with a school leader on the MLDS continuum. MLDS is truly a ‘rising tide that lifts all boats.’ It’s a program that constantly demonstrates how school leaders can become great. Challenge by choice.” – John Fortney, Superintendent, Van-Far R-1 School District

“The MLDS program has brought some great ideas to our District. The program design gives the participants great insight and great tools, along with deep thought provoking moments.” – Andy Tugeon, Superintendent, Knox County R-I Schools

Northwest Region

“MLDS has been the most impactful professional development that I have engaged in as an educator.” – Tabitha Blevins, Principal, St. Joseph School District

“The leadership through the MLDS process provides a laser focus on building the future leaders for our families.” – Angie Courtney, Principal, Clinton County R-3

“MLDS not only provided me with quality professional development but allowed me to find mentors and peers to network and collaborate with when I was working through the overwhelming initial challenges of the position.” – Landi Quinlin, Principal, St. Joseph School District

“The MLDS system is providing a strong, strategic, and very intentional set of learning experiences that is building the capacity of Missouri school leaders unlike anything before. To be able to see how impactful the program has been on our building leaders is so inspiring, encouraging, and appreciated.” – Jay Albright, Superintendent, Mid-Buchanan R-V

“Through MLDS, I had the opportunity to develop my skills as a leader thanks to the research-based practices shared with me and the rich conversations with my participating principals. As an MLDS mentor, I have been able to connect with beginning principals to support them by sharing what has worked for me. The mentality of MLDS is ‘We’re all in the together!’ Now more than ever, leaders in education need to band together to support each other as we do the great work of educating Missouri’s children.” – Billie McGraw, Superintendent, Hamilton R-2

South Central Region

“I do not have a principal mentor model to compare MLDS to, but I know that MLDS have provided me with a great mentor, a wonderful network of fellow administrators, professional development, and many other resources I would not have encountered on my own. It is hard being a sole administrator in a building, so it is great to know that I have others I can contact from our time together during MLDS.” – Tammy Allen, Principal, Dixon R-1 School District

“I have been involved with the MLDS since it started. It is the PD, outside of in-district learning, that I am engaged in. The opportunity to combine new learning with practical application is a strong way to make sure learning transfers to practice. And, it’s free!” – Molinda Mitchell, Principal, Waynesville R-VI School District

“I wholeheartedly support the work of MLDS and note the positive impact this program is having on the students of Missouri. MLDS provides a structured approach to support leadership skills and growth, which reinforces the work of schools across out state and builds leadership capacity to enhance the education of out students. I feel fortunate to have building leaders in my school district participating in this process.” – Brian Henry, Superintendent, Waynesville R-VI School District

“It’s hard to imagine my move into school leadership without the support of MLDS. The mentors and cohort of principals involved with this system were simply invaluable to me as I navigated the challenges of administration. I know that teachers and students alike benefited from my participation in MLDS.” – Travis Bohrer, Superintendent, Dixon R-1 School District

Southwest Region

“The role of the principal is challenging and rewarding, but can by lonely at times. MLDS is building the capacity of leaders through mentoring, networking, and providing valuable support to leaders as they grow in their craft.” – Jennifer Chastain, Principal, Nixa Public Schools

“MLDS is based on principles that develop servant leaders who are initiators and apply learned foundational skills that make Missouri leaders strive to be wise stewards of the buildings and/or district’s culture and effectiveness.” – Julie Dalton, Principal, Purdy R-II School District

“MLDS provides the support, professional development, and networking local administrators are lacking! We are able to grow together, discuss real and relevant job expectations, and set all of our administrators up for success.” – Liz Gredell, Principal, Nixa Public Schools

“MLDS’ focus on teaching key items necessary for leading a building effectively set any administrator up for success right at the start. Learning alongside a community of other administrators ensures the process resonate and become easy to implement in any school and also allows ideas and resources to be shared easily. The mentorship of MLDS trainers is top-notch and valuable beyond measure! – Nina Henson, Principal, Hollister R-V School District

“MLDS has been an absolute game-changer for me. We engage in real work and have vulnerable conversations about real topics that affect our everyday practice. The collective wisdom of our MLDS facilitators paired with the opportunity to network with other school leaders has helped me grow in confidence and develop the skills necessary to be a transformational school leader.” – Josh Bennett, Assistant Principal, Nixa Public Schools

“The MLDS experience was invaluable to my growth as a leader. It not only provided me with a significant amount of learning and support my first years as an administrator, but also helped me to build a strong network of friends and colleagues that have bolstered my career and effectiveness as a leader.” – Garrett Lowder, Assistant Superintendent, Marshfield R-I

“MLDS has worked very hard to create a system for new principals to be supported as they begin their administrative careers. Our profession is all about creating relationships with others and helping them grow – this is exactly what MLDS has provided.” – Landon Gray, Superintendent, Sparta R-III School District

St. Louis Region

“I have participated in the MLDS for five years – two years as a head principal and three as an assistant principal. The MLDS is an invaluable resource that provides great networking opportunities. From leadership strategies to teacher feedback, to observing colleagues in action, the EdPlus team has offered their insights and support without the sense that you are being “sold” something. I especially appreciate the opportunity to visit other schools and leaders. It serves as a powerful structure that allows me to calibrate my practice with the efforts of other school leaders.” – Lauren Cobb, Principal, LaSalle Middle School

“By connecting school leaders, MLDS is growing leadership capacity and increasing leadership efficacy across the state. Ultimately, the collaborative design of leaders is improving school communities and the students they serve.” – Desi Kirchhofer, Superintendent, Northwest School District

Central Region

“I firmly believe the Missouri Leadership Development System is a necessary and positive experience for all of Missouri’s school leaders. The learning process of being a strong leader cannot stop with the earning of a degree. As we face a variety of challenges in our school we need school leaders who understand how to lead through difficult times, maintain a strong and positive school culture, and connect with other leaders for problem-solving in the region and the state. I would strongly urge all superintendents to provide their principals with the opportunity for this experience. A few days a year can make the difference for a school and its students for a long time.” – Steve Ritter, Superintendent, Sherwood Cass R-VIII School District

“Growing educators is a passion of mine! I believe that supporting new educators doesn’t stop at classroom teachers. The MLDS program this support to new administrators. As a former MLDS participant and a current MLDS mentor, being a part of this support system has allowed me to grow as a building administrator and now have the opportunity to support new administrators. It is not breaking news that education continues to be a challenging, yet rewarding field to work in. The professional development and relationships that are made through MLDS become a resource and lifetime.” – Heather Shaffer, Principal, Leeton R-X School District


“There is a huge connection between MLDS and what I want instructionally in the district. It brings all the pieces together, especially time management and connections with students and teachers” – Superintendent

“MLDS is very consistent in delivering its components as designed. My assistant principal is one year behind me and learning the same materials as I did. It is good quality research-based learning that gives us great information to apply.” – Principal

“MLDS is the best program I have been in for professional development at any level. It is well designed to do what it intends to.” – Superintendent

“My principal tries different things that I know she has learned through the program. She also shares different and new ideas with her staff for us to try as well.” – Classroom teacher

“One of the most unique aspects of MLDS is having a cohort of administrators to learn with and share ideas with. We work on the treatments together and then share how those worked when we put them into practice at our own buildings.” – Principal

“MLDS is a system of learning and support. The content directly supports what school leaders do. We encourage leaders to apply the learning experiences/treatments in hopes leaders will be prepared to address whatever needs their school may experience. Leaders come together to learn, network, and share.” – Specialist

"I am a more effective leader because of MLDS. The focus of each session is relevant to where I am as a leader. The topics and learning [are] valued and I am able to apply them immediately while continuing to grow." – Principal

"The MLDS training materials are top-notch. My principals get a lot of books and do deep dives. There is no doubt the materials are professional and of high quality." – Superintendent

"I bring back things I learn from MLDS and immediately apply them to what I am trying to do in my building. I apply the information to situations I deal with regularly." – Principal

"MLDS is always looking at different ways to engage our leaders. The unique part is that they customize to the needs. They look at buildings and identify the big rocks they are turning over so principals can reach their goals in their buildings." – Superintendent

"MLDS has been and continues to be an extremely valuable program for my principals. I wish it had been available for me to utilize when I became a principal." – Superintendent

"I have found the MLDS program extremely valuable. I always look forward to my time at MLDS meetings and I hope to continue with the program for many years!" – Principal

"This experience is valuable to my principal. She speaks highly of her time in MLDS." – Classroom Teacher

"MLDS is critically important for principals to gain the knowledge and experiences needed to be highly effective and to remain in their role in an ever-changing society." – Specialist

"MLDS has strengthened my instructional leadership practices by emphasizing the importance of more frequent, specific feedback for teachers and the relationship that builds over time between leader and teacher and the opportunities for collegial conversation around classroom practices." – Principal

"I am a stronger instructional leader and understand who I am as a leader on a deeper level than before." – Principal

"My principal is more effective in managing student behavior and has better insight on the role. He has improved with feedback from his walk-throughs and class observation because of his practice with peers in the MLDS coaching labs" – Superintendent

"As a result of my [participation] in MLDS, I have been able to positively impact the climate and culture of my building, bring instructional strategies and relevant professional development to my team and staff, and I have been able to work through some difficult situations with the support of the specialists and my mentor." – Principal

"I brought our entire building/program into one strong unit. Before, they were separate departments but now we are one and we are stronger together!" – Principal

"MLDS provides an opportunity to shift from the management focus to the instructional support side of being a principal. In-person meetings allow our principals to come together away from their buildings to really focus on the aspects of instructional leadership and collaborative professional learning that they would not otherwise have the opportunity to engage with." – Superintendent

"MLDS has helped me to give better feedback to my teachers. I have used the pieces on how to give feedback very intentionally with my teaching staff." – Principal

"My principal has provided meaningful feedback to advance my teaching practices." – Classroom Teacher

"My principal provides clear and specific feedback after an observation. He always brings new ideas to the table that I wouldn't have thought about." – Classroom Teacher

"My MLDS principal has become more willing to engage in difficult conversations with teachers regarding pedagogy." – Superintendent

"Due to MLDS, I have been able to continue to improve the climate and culture at my school. My school consistently scores above state average on the MAP test." – Principal

"MLDS absolutely contributes to student learning. As adults’ practices improve, it will have an impact on the students. There is a correlation between the two concepts." – Superintendent

"Retention often does not happen because of burnout, but the 15–20 of us feel we have a support group. We were paired across the state and have stayed in touch. That effort toward retention is priceless. A lot of times we feel like we are on an island and now we have people to support us." – Principal

"MLDS absolutely helps to retain school leaders. You can reach out comfortably about problems and difficulties. You build relationships which reduces the stress." – Superintendent

"What makes MLDS most effective to me are the actual ideas and strategies that I can put into practice in my school." – Principal

"MLDS accelerated the maturation of my principal’s leadership process. This is very helpful because it gave my principal peers to lean on and bounce ideas off of. MLDS has helped my principal to go from a developing leader to an effective leader." – Superintendent

"The cohort of leaders that I have met, as well as the personalized level of our regional leaders, allows the meetings to be more tailored to fit the needs of being an administrator in a rural district school." – Principal

"The practice and engagement with leaders in similar positions and on similar campuses as mine are making the program effective." – Principal

"MLDS is the perfect support system to help us get through the worst of the worst through the pandemic. It is invaluable to all administrators." – Superintendent

"As a result of participation in MLDS, my principal reasserts focus on student learning amid the disruptions of the pandemic." – Superintendent

"MLDS is an effective program because of the effectiveness of the mentors. They provide extremely valuable advice and enable leaders to practice leadership strategies in real world scenarios." – Principal

"MLDS is successful because the specialists foster collaboration through different media (e.g., in-person, text message, email). The group meetings are always well-planned and have great learning activities that are relevant to current events in education." – Principal

"I [participated in] the program. I know it helped me and there is a direct benefit. I make my principal take the time and go to the program." – Superintendent

"It is a big concern of mine that if the superintendent does not understand, the district system will not change. If principals [participate in] MLDS, it is because their superintendent understands. The superintendent role is unique. MLDS should recognize the superintendent as the instructional leader." – Superintendent

"I just happened to stumble upon the MLDS program in my MAESP magazine and then reached out to someone in the program. Not many of my colleagues have heard about it. It is a wonderful opportunity and more people should know about it!" – Principal

"My principal always shares her learnings and gets our feedback. Most, if not all, of her trainings are useful and easily implemented into our school culture." – Classroom Teacher

"The trainings I received this year from my principal helped me to create more student-led conversations around learning." – Classroom Teacher

"I loved the enthusiasm my principal would show when sharing ideas that came from MLDS. When our principal is excited for something, the staff also gets excited. I think MLDS helped our principal see whole picture ideas." – Classroom Teacher

"Participation in MLDS allowed for my principal to bring new ideas and services to our school in a way other than a traditional building manager but someone who encourages teachers to seek out leadership roles and improve professional practices." – Classroom Teacher

"My principal is very professional and approachable, always willing to help. Our school is better because of her commitment and leadership." – Classroom Teacher

"Participation in MLDS gives my principal strategies of how to implement positivity in our school to promote building relationships and providing effective instruction." – Classroom Teacher

"My instruction is more differentiated. My students are receiving diverse lessons based on their needs and not as a whole group." – Classroom Teacher

"I have grown as a teacher when it comes to implementing collaborative learning and more critical thinking practices within my classroom." – Classroom Teacher

"I am a more competent, confident communicator and educator as a result of my principal's participation in MLDS." – Classroom Teacher

"My principal's participation in MLDS promotes positive and impactful changes that resulted in teachers reflecting on instructional practices and improving craft." – Classroom Teacher

"I hold high expectations for myself and my students, dedicate extra time to instructional preparation and reflection, and maximize instructional time via effective classroom management and organization. I also enhance my instruction by varying instructional strategies, activities, and assignments." – Classroom Teacher

"I have accomplished more trust and better relationships with students and staff! I have felt more purpose due to seeing the larger impact made on the students." – Classroom Teacher

"Because of my improved instructional practices, my students think critically and can apply their knowledge as well as recall it." – Classroom Teacher

"My principal's participation in MLDS affects our school very positively. My principal is constantly pushing us to be stronger teachers and better leaders. My principal is why teachers stay at our school." – Classroom Teacher

"Our school has really improved student learning due to our principals’ leadership." – Classroom Teacher

Complete the form below and an MLDS representative from your region will follow up with you to complete enrollment in the MLDS program or provide you the value of MLDS. There is no cost to you or your district.
You may also leave a message at 617-423-1444 (CTAC) or 573-751-7986 (DESE) and one of our team members will contact you soon.