At the conclusion of the PALS training, participants Dwayne Young, Joyce Dunn, and Jan Conway, reflected on their experience and the impact of the training on their ability to mentor new principals and on their own careers.

Dwayne: The feeling of not knowing really what we are expected to do can be overwhelming and enormously heavy on the mind of a new principal. The PALS program seeks to ease the anxiety of the newly appointed by offering a vital resource, the voice of an experienced principal, as a guide during their first year. The training we received is a model of the work mentor principals will do with their protégés. The curriculum is focused, targeted, and a benefit to the needs of principals who want to give back in a substantial manner. The best recommendation I can possibly give is that I’d like to do it again.

Joyce: I’ve attended many conferences and trainings in my career, but this one was by far the best. The training took us through the mentoring process in an active, fun way. Having fun and active participation were the keys to the success of this training.

Jan: Through this tremendously valuable training, we have gained many insights on how to provide feedback, which can aid those entering this rewarding profession. Along the way, all participants have profited immensely themselves by learning how to improve professional interactions. Principals are in their roles because they care and want to have a positive impact on the future of others. But they need to know the strategies to best accomplish this. The training facilitators, Galen and Lillian, have left an impression for a lifetime.

The journey to certification for Dwayne, Joyce, and Jan, along with the rest of their PALS cohort, has just begun. Over the next nine months, the group will continue the mentoring certification process by corresponding with a coach and protégé, participating in monthly and weekly online discussions, and submitting a monthly portfolio and final presentation. 

If you are interested in mentoring the next generation of principals, consider becoming a certified National Principal Mentor. Visit or e-mail for more information about PALS and to register for training.

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re: An Inside Look at PALS—Final Reflections

Mentoring is such an important part of the success of principals whether you are a new principal or an experienced one. Through the NAESP Mentor Certification Program mentors are trained to be reflective, understand adult learning, and support colleagues. NAESP is looking for any research studies tied to administrative mentoring and the outcomes of structured programs that have been implemented in school districts. Does anyone have research that they could share?