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Through ASLF, TFA St. Louis prepares participants to lead high-performing schools and supports them in advancing along a pathway to school leadership.

Next to the teacher in the classroom, research shows that the school building leader has the most significant impact on a student’s achievement and future trajectory. The Aspiring School Leaders Fellowship prepares a racially and professionally diverse cohort of educators to lead high-performing schools by cultivating their skills to positively influence student outcomes and educational equity, and supports them in advancing along a pathway to school leadership. Since its launch in 2014, the program has graduated more than 75 participants, a majority of whom are in school leadership roles today across St. Louis. These include over a dozen leaders of local public schools-including traditional district schools and public charter schools-more than 25 mid-level school leaders, and two elected school board members. One-third of last year’s cohort have already taken on school leadership roles in the 2021-22 school year.

Program Components

The Aspiring School Leaders Fellowship is a nine-month program designed to accelerate participants’ leadership development through networking with education leaders in St. Louis and monthly professional development sessions from national and local facilitators. 

Program components include:

  • Monthly Sessions On topics relevant to aspiring school leaders like setting a school vision
  • School Visits & Learning from local and national education leaders
  • Optional Master’s Degree and principal certification through Saint Louis University

Other information:

  • Meetings will take place monthly on Tuesday evenings for 2.5 hours, from 5:30-8pm.
  • Participants may be asked to miss up to 4 days of school/work to participate in PD opportunities as part of this cohort including trainings, university seminars, or school visits.
  • The cost for fellows to participate in this program is a $25 donation to TFA St. Louis. This fee covers a small percentage of the full cost per participant.

Application Process

Applications for the 2021-22 cohort are currently closed. The application window for the 2022-23 cohort will open in spring of 2022.

Past Fellows

Since its launch in 2014, the program has graduated more than 75 participants, a majority of whom are in school leadership roles today across St. Louis. These include over a dozen leaders of local public schools-including traditional district schools and public charter schools-more than 25 mid-level school leaders, and two elected school board members. One-third of last year’s cohort have already taken on school leadership roles in the 2021-22 school year.

Past participants include:

  • Brenda Smith, Principal, Vashon High School, SLPS
  • Sarah Ranney, Executive Director, Lafayette Preparatory Academy
  • Michael Baird, Principal, Hickey Elementary School, SLPS
  • Kevin Martin, Ferguson Florissant Public Schools Board Member
  • Nikole Shurn, Kirkwood Public Schools Board Member
“I was better prepared for a school leadership role as a result of this program. The professional development, school visits, resume assistance, interview preparation, and connecting to local leadership was extremely helpful in securing an assistant principal role. I am also equipped with the tools to sustain a long career in the education field due to the ASLF Program.”

2018 Fellow

Assistant Principal, East St. Louis High School

100%

2020 participants who would recommend ASLF to others

50%

TFA alumni school leaders in St. Louis who are past ASLF participants

55%

ASLF participants who moved into the next stage of leadership after completing the program

93

total ASLF fellows including the current 2021-22 cohort