Leading Excellence Program

The Leading Excellence fellowship exists to build a pipeline of high-performing, humble leaders who serve to fulfill the YES Prep mission and vision. With the growth of our organization and our schools, we need high performing talent at all levels and across all teams.

**Please note that the application for the 2019-2020 school year has not launched. Several people at the Home Office are in strategic discussions right now determining the best set up for leadership development for this upcoming year and beyond. Once details have been finalized, we will update this webpage and post the information in staff notes and the Clipboard, as applicable. Thank you for your patience in the meantime.

Leading Excellence develops leaders through a fellowship that focuses on:
  • Building and leading an effective team
  • Coaching and managing with excellence
  • Solving high-impact, complex problems

Fellows are differentiated into one of two tracks:
Leading Excellence Insight: Leading Excellence Insight will drive toward jaw-dropping results for our kids by preparing self-aware leaders who display high integrity and authenticity and who are committed to developing effective teams. This track is ideal for leaders who formally lead a team as part of their role and for those who lead project teams to accomplish a specific outcome.
Leading Excellence Aspire: Leading Excellence Aspire will affect real change for our students by developing inspired and motivated leaders committed to managing with excellence, solving complex organizational issues, and engaging our talent. LE Aspire is focused on management training and role preparation for one of four roles: Director of Academics, Director of Program in the Home Office, School Director, or current Advanced teacher. This track is ideal for managers and those who are currently serving in one of these four positions or who are 1-2 years away from moving into one of these roles.
During the interview process, we will have the opportunity to talk with you about which programming track will most effectively prepare you to meet or exceed your professional goals. The tracks are designed to address the individual needs of the leaders, regardless of title or position in the organization. Both tracks serve leaders at all levels of the organization.

The Program:

  • Week-long Immersion in June 
  • 10 Professional Learning Experiences (PLEs)
  • Leadership coaching opportunities
  • Great networking and professional growth opportunities

The LE fellowship is designed for leaders in the organization who manage or support staff members as a core part of their job responsibilities. Specifically, the ideal candidate for the Leading Excellence fellowship will meet the following criteria:

  • Candidates must hold a leadership position within the organization that requires them to manage or support other individuals. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Current Advanced teachers, GLC, DOS, DOI, IC, ISS, CL, CS, Principals, new School Directors or Assistant School Directors, and Directors in the Home Office. The fellowship is especially pertinent to those leaders who have a minimum of 1-2 years of experience in their current roles.
    • If you intend to apply for an internal opening/qualifying position, you should complete the application simultaneously.
  • Ability to manage rigorous deliverables in addition to your job responsibilities and balance the time commitments of the fellowship with those of your role.
  • History of engaging in professional learning at a high level and in a professional setting.
  • History of applying professional learning and coaching at a high level.

Frequently Asked Questions:
Is Leading Excellence for School Leaders only?
Leading Excellence is not just for school leadership preparation! It is for anyone to become a better leader in any context. This year we have a mix of Home Office team members, campus leaders, and Advanced Teachers from the various campuses.
How much time does the LE fellowship take?
Each Fellow participates in a week of intensive training in June, monthly 4-hour Professional Learning Experiences, and 1-2 hour coaching sessions. In addition, Fellows work outside of the program and their day-to-day jobs to complete various deliverables in the form of readings and writing assignments to deepen self-awareness and to set goals for improvement which accounts for 3 hours of prep work per month. Per participant investment over the course of the year is approximately 145 hrs. The fellowship is rigorous and we require all participants to submit deliverables by their deadlines in order to stay on pace in their leadership growth.
Is there a coach for the leaders, and if so, what is the ratio of coaches to developing leaders?
Each participant receives coaching. We currently have 28 coaches from inside the organization from a variety of backgrounds including Directors, School Directors, and Senior Leaders.
What are the short term and long term goals of the Leading Excellence fellowship for YES Prep?
Short term we would like to see improvement in mid- and end-of-year evaluation data for each participant. Long term we would like to position graduates of the program to be competitive candidates for higher-level leadership as we grow as an organization. We are in the process of collecting data to track the growth of participants over the course of the fellowship. Put simply, our goal is to help you improve in your preparation and execution in your role and in your ability to lead with excellence!
Where did the curriculum come from?
Much of the development of the curriculum came from leadership texts and journals such as the Harvard Business Review and books such as Strengths-Based Leadership, Fierce Conversations, The Advantage, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and others. We also conducted a focus group with 21 leaders at YES including the senior leadership team, School Directors, and other high-level leaders, and one-on-one interviews with 8 high-performing leaders at YES.
Describe the typical leader that will participate in the LE fellowship?
In order to participate in the fellowship, applicants must be managing or supporting at least one individual as part of their job responsibilities. Applicants participate in a rigorous selection process including completing essays and a half-day of selection activities that show the candidate’s aptitude for time management and prioritization, influence, communication, strategic thinking, and coaching. As a result, successful candidates are generally high-achieving YES team members with aptitude in the aforementioned areas.
This seems like a big investment of time and energy. What are the benefits of participating?
In short, alums of the LE fellowship will become the pipeline from which we draw for future leadership positions at YES Prep. In addition, there are a number of personal benefits. Thus far, LE Fellows have enjoyed the way LE has challenged their mindset around leadership and working with people. They feel more empowered and in control and less intimidated by the prospect of managing others. Read the bios below and/or talk to a current LE Fellow for more ideas of how they LE program could benefit you!

The Leading Excellence Program is generously underwritten by CFP Foundation, Enbridge Foundation and The Powell Foundation.