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ROE # 17 Moved! Our address is 201 E. Grove Street, Suite 300, Bloomington, IL 61701

Learning While Leading


This project is supported by a $4M, 5-year, Education, Innovation and Research (EIR) grant awarded to ROE #17 by the U.S. Department of Education to provide leadership development throughout Illinois.


Project Purpose

To address the principal shortage by identifying educators with principal certification (Type 75 or principal endorsement) and preparing them to successfully fill assistant principal or principal vacancies, especially in rural and low-income schools.

Program Description

The Learning While Leading (LWL) Program is a federally funded program coordinated through the ROE Lead Hubs to prepare educators who already have a principal endorsement on their license and intend to stay in the same school during the program year (2023-24). The goal of the LWL program is to enable participants to successfully apply in the 2023-24 school year for an assistant principal or principal position starting in the 2024-25 school year. 


Through the program, participants receive:

  • Pre-service training and coaching that supports participants in leading a team of teachers through a Learning Cycle process, which includes using data to identify a problem with student learning, selecting a responsive instructional strategy, and monitoring results to inform improvement; 

  • Coaching, social networking opportunities, and resume-building experiences that help participants seek and secure principal or assistant principal positions; and 

  • Induction and coaching support for the first year on the job as a new principal or assistant principal.

Through the LWL program, candidates will: 

  • Separate themselves from other principal/assistant principal candidates to improve their competitiveness in  the job market;

  • Succeed as a new school principal/assistant principal because they will receive coaching and networked supports in the formative first year on the job; and 

  • Locate schools that are a good fit for them, as a new principal or assistant principal. 


To learn more and apply, CLICK HERE.
If you are experiencing any difficulty accessing the application, please email Lisa Skelly, at [email protected].



LWL Participant Criteria
  • Be certified with a principal endorsement on their Illinois license or currently enrolled in a program leading to licensure (required);

  • Currently not be serving in a principal position;

  • 1+ years experience in current school and intent to stay in their current school during the program year (2023-2024) (preferred);

  • Intend to apply for a principal or assistant principal position in Illinois (in their current school or another school/district) that starts in 2024-25 (preferred); and 

  • Serve in a school that administers the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (or SATs) and the 5 Essentials Survey.


Important Dates

  • Application opens on April 14, 2023

  • Application materials are due June 16, 2023, rolling admissions for rural candidates through July 1, 2023

  • LWL participant notification by July 7, 2023

  • LWL Virtual Orientation occurring during the last week of July and the first week of August (must attend one orientation)


Application Instructions

Complete the online application, which includes:

  • Written application

  • Three forms that should be signed and uploaded with the written application:

    • Approval Form signed by your principal

    • Recommendation Form signed by your principal or another recommender

    • Letter of Commitment signed by you


Contact Information

For more information, please contact …

Service Area 1: Deborah Doyle, [email protected], Regional Office of Education #19

Service Area 2: Scott Kuffel,[email protected], Regional Office of Education #28

Service Area 3: Michaela Fray-Tappe, [email protected], Regional Office of Education #1

Service Area 4: Erika Hunt, [email protected], Regional Office of Education #17

Service Area 5: Martha Weld, [email protected], Regional Office of Education #50

Service Area 6: Pam Walden, [email protected], Regional Office of Education #21