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TNTP Re-imagine Teaching
Case Study

Philadelphia: Preparing School Leaders


School District of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Great Schools Compact, Philadelphia Schools Partnership

Project Dates

2012 – Present


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Area of Work

Recruitment, Training

A strong principal is the key to building a strong team of teachers and a supportive learning environment for students. Yet traditional principal training—a mile long and an inch deep—leaves few principals prepared to transform student learning in challenging school environments.

In 2012, TNTP launched Philadelphia’s first alternative route to principal certification, PhillyPLUS, in partnership with The School District of Philadelphia, city charters and parochial schools and local education groups. Participants spend a year in a Philadelphia school managing teams of teachers and working with experienced leadership coaches. They learn how to establish a vision for excellence, and how to bring that vision to life in the hallways and classrooms of a school. 

The training comes with real responsibility. From day one, candidates must ensure that their teachers improve, that their students meet rigorous academic goals, and that top teachers are recognized and retained. Only candidates who master these skills are recommended to lead their own buildings.

In its first year, PhillyPLUS received 134 applications for just 13 slots. In 2015 we received 405 applications for 60 slots, and the PhillyPLUS training model is scaling up across the country, preparing principals in cities like Camden, New Jersey, and San Francisco, California, to manage teachers and raise student achievement.


Victoria Van Cleef

VP, Client Team

Jessica Varevice


Marielena Lotz

Project Director

Alex Podbelski

Site Manager

Angela Maldonado

Lead Talent Management Coach

Greg Leap

Leadership Coach

Liza Potter

Leadership Coach

Paul Schwinn

Leadership Coach