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Inside Education and Health Sciences

UD's Urban Leadership Academy Preparing Future Leaders in Dayton Public Schools

By Emily Clemenson

The Urban Leadership Academy, in partnership with Dayton Public Schools, is launching its first cohort this summer. The Academy held an orientation and kickoff event on April 18 at The Hub in downtown Dayton.

The Urban Leadership Academy is a program that enrolls DPS staff in a master's in educational leadership and/or a certificate in principal preparation. Any DPS staff member who is interested and meets eligibility requirements will be invited to apply to the program. There is an initial screening process with interviews. Successful applicants are invited to complete the admission process with the University of Dayton.

The first cohort is made up of 11 people from Dayton Public Schools and their current roles range from teachers to district administrators.

Gianna Rossi '22 started working in Dayton Public Schools after she completed her undergraduate degree from UD as a member of the Urban Teacher Academy. Finishing up her second year as a classroom teacher, she is grateful for the opportunity to return to UD.

"It feels as though my two worlds collided for the better," Rossi said. "I am looking forward to furthering my education and to make a difference in Dayton Public Schools, and in the Dayton community as a whole."

Dr. Corinne Brion, program coordinator for the Urban Leadership Academy, says the program addresses a gap that is currently unfilled.

"We are excited about the Urban Leadership Academy and the partnership with Dayton Public Schools because we are helping to meet an important need for a critical partner in the region," Brion said. "We also think it is important for our department to work closely with practitioners to educate school leaders who are culturally proficient, agents of change, and able to serve our ever changing student demographic populations."

Dayton Public School employees who are interested in joining the Urban Leadership Academy should discuss the option with their school's principal. Anyone outside of DPS is invited to reach out to the program coordinator, and to watch for news of the Urban Leadership Academy's eventual growth to work with other districts in similar ways.

For more information about the Urban Leadership Academy or the Department of Educational Administration, please contact the program coordinator Corinne Brion at


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