The following is included with the permission of David Medina, Hartford Public Schools, February 2010.
Penny MacCormack, chief academic officer for Hartford Public Schools, has joined an elite and exclusive group of individuals who have been accepted into the Broad Superintendents Academy, an intensive executive management program run by the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems in Los Angeles.
The academy is the only program in the country that prepares talented executives with non-education backgrounds, as well as successful high-level educators to lead urban public school systems. Only 2 percent of the applicants were selected this year.
Ms. MacCormack will join seven other participants in the 2011 class - three high-ranking military officers, a telecommunications executive and three other educators.
"I am truly honored to have been selected to participate in the Broad Superintendent Academy," Ms. MacCormack said. "I trust that the work I will do in the academy, and the people I will meet and work with, will allow me to further develop the skills and mindset necessary to lead an urban school district where all students are fully prepared for post secondary education. This is what I wanted for my own children and this is what I firmly believe must be available for all children."
Academy participants attend extended weekend training sessions at various locations across the country over a 10-month period. They are then placed in urban school districts and given extensive on-the-job support. Graduates of the program currently work as district or state superintendents in 43 cities across 25 states.
"We understand from the Broad Foundation that this is the first time that a traditional-route candidate has been selected from a district with fewer than 100,000 students," Superintendent Steven J. Adamowski said. "This is a great achievement for Penny and a great source of pride for Hartford Public Schools."
As chief academic officer for Hartford Public Schools, Ms. MacCormack has implemented several reform initiatives, including the adoption of a standards-based curriculum and intervention system with aligned assessments and a quality professional development program for teachers and administrators.
She also supervises services for English-language learners, technology, and the arts and oversees state and federal instructional budgets. In addition she oversaw the development of the district's Strategic Operating Plan and the Travelers Leadership Academy.
Prior to her role as chief academic officer, Ms. MacCormack served as assistant superintendent for secondary schools. Before coming to Hartford, she served as assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction in New Haven Public Schools, a high school principal, a middle school principal, an assistant principal and a science teacher.
She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Connecticut, a master's degree from Albertus Magnus College and is currently completing a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Hartford.
The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems is funded by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation to advance entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science and the arts.