The Coach Approach to School Leadership: With Special Guests Jessica Johnson, Shira Leibowitz, and Kathy Perret

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Principals and Assistant Principals are called on to be “instructional leaders” on their campus. However, it can be challenging to balance that role with evaluative and supervisory roles also required of school leaders. The authors of the book The Coach Approach To School Leadership will join us to discuss best practices for putting coaching at the center of your campus to improve teaching and learning today!


Coach Approach Webinar Learning Objectives

  • Expand their classroom visits and combine coaching with evaluation requirements.
  • Provide high-quality feedback to support the development of both teachers and students.
  • Empower teachers to lead their own professional learning and work together as a team.


Get answers to the following questions (and more):

  1. How do you differentiate between coaching and evaluative observations and what can principals do to make sure they accomplish both goals when visiting classrooms?
  2. What advice do you have for school leaders who feel that teachers can’t see them as a coach?
  3. What should school leaders do to improve the quality of their feedback to foster reflective and meaningful conversations?
  4. What structures do you recommend for school leaders who want to build productive teams of teachers focused on professional growth?


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About the Authors

Jessica Johnson is the elementary school principal and district assessment coordinator for Dodgeland School District in Juneau, Wisconsin, and an adjunct professor in the Educational Leadership Department at Viterbo University. Named the 2014 Wisconsin Elementary School Principal of the Year, she has previously taught in Minnesota, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Bemidji State University, and taught and served as an instructional coach and assistant principal in Arizona, where she earned her master’s degree at Arizona State University.

Johnson comoderates the #educoach chat on Twitter each Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. central time and cohosts the popular PrincipalPLN Podcast. She lives in Juneau with her husband and two sons, who keep her active coaching sports and robotics teams


Shira Leibowitz is founding lower school director of Portfolio, designed as a network of schools reimagining the possible in education through student-centered interdisciplinary project-based learning, with academic, intellectual, and creative depth. Prior to joining Portfolio, she led independent schools in the greater New York City area for 20 years, serving as department head and curriculum coordinator, lower school principal, and head of school. She has coached teachers throughout the United States in implementing project-based learning and has led online communities of practice focused on educational innovation, teaching and learning, and instructional coaching. She is comoderator of #educoach, a weekly Twitter chat focused on instructional coaching approaches.

Leibowitz earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University and her PhD in education from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, including extensive study at Teachers College Columbia University.

She lives with her husband Alfredo and is the proud mother of two children, Talia and Ronen. Also included in her family are two dogs, a cockapoo named Oliver and a Jack Russell terrier named Max.


Kathy Perret is an education consultant for Northwest Area Education Agency in Sioux City, Iowa, focusing on the areas of teacher leadership, literacy, and English as a second language, and an adjunct professor at Morningside College in Sioux City. She has also been an instructional coach at the elementary and middle school levels and currently serves as an educational enhancer for her private consulting business, Keep Your Passion, where she provides learning opportunities in the area of instructional coaching.

Prior to her consulting and coaching work, Perret spent 18 years as an elementary teacher in Iowa, serving students at St. Rose of Lima in Denison, Woodbury Central Community School District in Moville, and Sioux City Community Schools. Staying connected with her former students via social media and seeing their contributions to the world fill her with pride.

She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa; her master’s degree at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa; and her Iowa PK–12 Administrative Endorsement through the Iowa Principal Leadership Program in Storm Lake, Iowa. She also holds endorsements in the area of K–8 Reading and K–12 ESL.

Perret enjoys spending her spare time as a community and state volunteer. She is currently the board secretary for the Mary Elizabeth Child Care Center and a volunteer with the Canine Assisted Therapy Program for STARS, Inc., both in Sioux City, Iowa. She is the former president of several organizations, including Leadership Siouxland, the Siouxland Reading Association, and Learning Forward Iowa. She is the proud aunt to three nephews and one niece and the guardian to a rescued Schnoodle named Boji. After much training and coaching, Boji became a certified therapy dog, and together Perret and Boji bring joy to others through the K9 STARS Read-to-Me Program.


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