Saturday April 28, 2017
from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM EDT

Registration @ 8:00 AM
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$99 Registration    

State Continuing Education Clock Hours will be available.


MEMSPA Training Center
1980 N College Rd.
Mason, MI 48854

Driving Directions


Taryn Hurley
MEMSPA Administrative Assistant

 MEMSPA is a community of prinicpals dedicated to advocating, leading, and learning. We recognize the evolving nature of the principal's role and support those committed to this important work. All who share in our purpose are welcome to join. 

Aspiring Principals & Teacher Leaders:
The Journey to Becoming a Leader of Learners


Robert Marzano cited three elements present in a satisfying career:

  • The work is challenging and it takes hard work to get better at it.
  •  The work affects others in a positive way.
  • The workplace gives individuals a degree of autonomy to express their creativity

These elements describe a career as a principal!

Are you a teacher/leader in your building who has taken leadership courses or graduated with your degree in educational leadership and are wondering if you should take the next step toward becoming a principal?

Join your aspiring principal colleagues for an interactive day-long learning session with two experienced principals (Leader of Learners) to reflect, plan, and determine if the journey of becoming a Leading Learner is right for you!

This day-long interactive learning session will provide aspiring principals/teacher leaders opportunities to gain insight into the principal’s role, what makes for an effective principal and how to tie principal effectiveness to improved student achievement.  Participants will compare and contrast the current research that has been culled to describe what it is that effective principals do:    

  • Shape a vision of academic success for all
  • Create school climate hospitable to all members of the school community - students, staff,
    and parents
  • Cultivate leadership in othersImprove instruction
  • Manage people, data and processes to foster school improvement

Participants will actively delve into activities that will help them independently learn key ideas, spend time processing and discussing them to formulate conclusions, receive formal language to frame process and thoughts, apply learning to begin to put activities into practice and reflect on prior perceptions to formulate new thinking to inform next steps.

Session outcomes include: 

  • Learn if the principal role is right for you
  • Reflect on personal journey as an educator and what effective principals do
  • Connect with past experience as a teacher leader and compare to the principalship
  • Learn from two veteran principals and their personal journey of becoming a leader of learners
  • Work on action plan for next steps to prepare for potential principalship

Learning Facilitators

Derek Wheaton Derek Wheaton has been an educator for 34 years.  His experience includes 14 years as a former teacher in both inner city and urban elementary schools, and 18 years as a practicing principal of a large K-2 center in southwest Michigan.  Derek graduated from Michigan State University with a BS degree in Early Childhood and Teaching and received his Masters in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University.   He was named MEMSPA's 2011 Outstanding Practicing Principal and honored by the NAESP as a National Distinguished Principal Class of 2012.  Derek recently “retired” or dis-engaged from a full-time career as a building principal.  He leads Derek Wheaton Consulting, LLC and provides professional learning for schools and district leaders, coaching and mentoring for new and beginning principals as his part-time legacy work. Derek is a Nationally Certified Principal Mentor & Coach via the NAESP Principal Mentor Certification Program.   He co-facilitates MEMSPA’s year long principal endorsement program, Leadership Matters.  Derek’s passion is to develop the aspirations of leading learners! You can reach Derek at email: derekwheaton@gmail.com or web:   www.derekwheaton.com

Barb Elson is an NAESP Nationally Certified Principal Mentor, supporting aspiring and practicing school leaders.  Although recently retired from being an elementary school principal, Barb is currently serving educators as a principal coach for both Michigan State University and MEMSPA, along with leading Barb Elson Educational Consulting, LLC in providing leadership and instructional support to districts and school leaders. Barb's 12-year tenure as a principal brought her the honor of receiving the 2011-2012 MEMSPA Principal of the Year honor for Oakland County. Under Barb's leadership, Longacre Elementary, with Farmington Public Schools,  received the distinction of being named a Leader in Me Lighthouse School.  Longacre is among few schools in the State of Michigan honored for meeting the rigorous academic and cultural implementation criteria. She is a trained "7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Families" facilitator. Throughout her 25 years as an educator, Barb has served other administrators, staff, students, and parents in a variety of capacities such as leadership development, mentoring, school improvement, school culture, teacher evaluation, curriculum implementation and design, systems-thinking, differentiation implementation and growth of professional learning teams. Additionally, Barb has received recognition for a unique model of Positive Behavior Intervention Support Implementation. She was also instrumental in bringing forward to education a successful business model of moving from strategy to execution using Covey's "The Four Disciplines of Execution."  The consummate learner herself, Barb loves bringing the power of learning and leading to others! You can reach Barb at elsonbarbarae@gmail.com