Pipeline Development

Running schools is hard. Growing the next generation of school leaders doesn’t have to be.

Marshall Leadership Institute works alongside school communities to co-create leadership pipelines that are grounded in best practices, customized to their specific needs, and embedded into their existing systems. The result? A leadership program that supports the entire career journey — from the moment a teacher first considers becoming a school leader, through the early stages of leadership, to the time they’re ready to lead change beyond the walls of a single school.

Unlocking Leadership in Your School Community

Alex Horowitz

Chief Growth and Strategy Officer, Impact Public Schools

“We were grateful to have the Marshall Leadership Institute enhance the development of some of our aspiring leaders. Those who went through the program brought a new lens to their work with other adults, were increasingly reflective and driven to make a change, and developed confidence in themselves as educational leaders. We hired all three into formal leadership roles!”

How We Partner

We use a human and system capacity-building approach to identify your system’s pipeline challenges and build customized programs to meet those challenges. Ultimately, we equip you with the tools and knowledge to carry the programs forward and make them your own.

  • Where is your leadership pipeline strong? Where is your leadership pipeline “leaking”? Marshall Leadership Institute will guide your team through a customized needs assessment process to help you identify your leadership pipeline strengths and improvement areas, while helping you clarify your community’s vision and goals for your leadership pipeline.

  • Need an experienced thought partner to help you rethink your pipeline? Marshall Leadership Institute partners with current school leadership to reexamine leadership rubrics and competencies, identify core skills you want to grow, and help you plan how to intentionally improve your pipeline. We help your team get aligned on the big picture and put action steps to your goals.

  • Guided by your community’s goals, Marshall Leadership Institute will help your community co-create custom pipeline solutions. Solutions include customized cohort-based learning experiences; personalized 1:1 coaching; targeted professional skills development on key skills, such as instructional coaching; and facilitator training. All solutions are selected with an asset-based mindset, building upon what your school community already has.

  • Marshall Leadership Institute’s problem-based learning approach to leadership development works because it builds skills that your leaders can apply right away, whether that leader is a teacher aspiring to leadership or a current leader working at the school system level. In collaboration with your team, Marshall Leadership Institute will design customized cohort-based learning experiences combining your community’s values and leadership rubrics with our signature problem-based learning approach.

  • Our gradual release approach to training is the key to ensuring your new pipeline program thrives. Marshall Leadership Institute will work with a minimum of two people on your team to build their capacity to operate your customized cohort-based learning experiences. We will model the implementation, provide guided practice for implementation, and then supportively transfer full implementation to your team to carry the programming forward in perpetuity.

Case Study: Building Internal Interest in School Leadership

DSST Public Schools — the largest public charter management organization in Colorado — is the leading STEM open-enrollment school network in the nation. DSST historically had not allocated resources to a comprehensive and aligned internal leadership pipeline in the past. In 2022-23, supported by funding from the Charter School Growth Fund, Marshall Leadership Institute was hired to provide expertise in building pipelines and to help DSST Leadership quickly design and launch a thriving leadership pipeline.

In 2022-23, supported by funding from the Charter School Growth Fund, Marshall Leadership Institute was hired to help DSST Leadership identify and prioritize goals and leverage best practices in leadership development to build a thriving pipeline. First, Marshall Leadership Institute conducted a needs assessment, including stakeholder interviews and data analysis. Due to the residual effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, building the interest of DSST teachers in school leadership was the area of highest need in DSST’s pipeline. Next, Marshall Leadership Institute supported the DSST team’s strategic planning to identify a key group of teachers to work with and to set goals for their new pipeline leadership programming.

Ultimately, Marshall Leadership Institute designed DSST’s first pipeline building learning experience. Marshall Leadership Institute combined its signature problem-based learning approach with DSST’s goals, rubrics, and culture to create a customized curriculum. The curriculum included workshops and problem-based learning sessions on how to set up new teaching teams for success, communicate high expectations, build trust, lean into conflict, and have courageous conversations around performance. Additionally, the curriculum included personal narrative storytelling so participants could share their values and motivations for being school leaders.

In collaboration with DSST’s newly founded Leadership Development Team, Marshall Leadership Institute began facilitator training by equipping DSST facilitators to lead the program in perpetuity. In alignment with gradual release principles, Marshall Leadership Institute modeled for the DSST team how to recruit and interview program participants, build the first cohort, and then facilitate implementation of the curriculum.

The result? All participants built skills in leading teams of teachers through influence and 88% of participants expressed interest in pursuing school leadership positions. Marshall Leadership Institute is now working with DSST to continue the gradual release process to ensure DSST staff can lead the program sustainably into the future.

“It is so hard when teaching to get out of the day-to-day routine within my own school. The cohort experience provided me an opportunity to learn, grow, and reflect with other like-minded people looking to take the next step in their careers. I have learned more about myself in these past few months than I ever have in my professional career. I have also learned the leadership skills that I never would have acquired if I did not join.” 

– Melissa Dubay, recently promoted to Dean, DSST

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Marshall Leadership Institute will guide your public charter school community through a three-phase process that results in an in-house, fully embedded school leadership pipeline. Typically, school communities can move through all three phases within three years.

  • To participate in a Pipeline Development engagement, Marshall Leadership Institute requires that a minimum team of two school leadership personnel commit to the following across all three phases:

    • Attend recurring meetings with Marshall Leadership Institute to review plans, data, and progress.
    • Attend all leadership development programming to build skills and capacity, one day a month for the length of the academic year.
    • Attend Marshall Leadership Institute Facilitator Training to prepare to implement the leadership development program on their own.
  • Below are some questions to ask yourself when considering if you’d like to work with us. If you are ready to be able to confidently answer the following, then you’re ready to work with us!

    • Does your organization have clear leadership standards that are known and used across all levels of leadership at your organization?
    • How are teachers offered pre-service preparation for exploring leadership?
    • Are the right people seizing pre-service preparation opportunities? How are they nudged to do so?
    • Does your organization’s leadership team reflect the demographics of the communities you serve?
    • What is your leader retention strategy? How is it working?
    • Do you have a bench of leaders ready to step in if an opening were to occur?
    • Do your leaders feel supported? Do supports vary depending on the level? Who might be left out?
    • What has gotten in the way of our efforts to strengthen and diversify your leadership pipelines thus far? Could an external catalyst help overcome those barriers?
    • Is your organization able to prioritize leadership development at this time?
  • Due to the customization of the partnership, the Marshall Leadership Institute Pipeline Development fee ranges. We believe finances should never be a barrier to school leadership and Marshall Leadership Institute will collaborate with you in your efforts to secure grant funding. Schedule a discovery call with us to receive a customized quote and discuss funding options.

Explore Our Offerings

Launched by and for school leaders, Marshall Leadership Institute helps unlock the teacher-to-school leader pipeline for public charter school communities across the United States.​

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    ​​Cohort-Based Leadership Development​

    Looking for individual support for your schools’ current leaders? Marshall Leadership Institute offers cohort-based learning to accelerate the development of authentic and powerful leadership skills within your current leaders.

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    ​Personalized Coaching​

    Facing a challenge and looking for responsive support from an experienced coach? Marshall Leadership Institute offers one-on-one personalized coaching to help leaders tackle the daily challenges of running a school.

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    Our Leadership Pedagogy

    What underpins our approach to leadership? Marshall Leadership Institute offers specialized programming for school and system leaders at every career stage.

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