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Two SAISD principals named Cahn Fellows

First San Antonio cohort for Columbia University program

Moises Ortiz
Dr. Moises Ortiz, Principal Rhodes Middle School

Two campus leaders in San Antonio ISD have been selected as Cahn Fellows for 2019-2020. Beginning this summer, principals Dr. Moises Ortiz with Rhodes Middle School and Marco Morales with J.T. Brackenridge Elementary School will be part of the Cahn Fellows Program for Distinguished Principals at Teachers College, Columbia University, while continuing to work full-time as school principals in SAISD.

Ortiz and Morales are the first in San Antonio to be accepted into the 13-month prestigious professional development program. The program seeks to improve large urban public school systems by recognizing the best school leaders and, over the long term, elevating student learning and achievement.

“Principals Ortiz and Morales reflect the great principals we have in SAISD, and we are proud they have earned the honor of being the District’s and the city’s first Cahn Fellows,” said Dr. Pauline Dow, SAISD Deputy Superintendent for Academics and School Leadership. “This program will deepen their impact as talented principals, encourage emerging leaders in their schools, and ultimately benefit their students.”

Fellows engage in a collaborative network of peers to become even more effective principals and to improve teacher effectiveness and school culture. This cohort serves as a sounding board for principals in years to come.

Throughout the program, each Cahn Fellow chooses an “ally” – an assistant principal or teacher leader – to participate in a two-week summer leadership institute and ongoing faculty study groups. The experience is intended to effectively link leadership and instructional theories from across organizations and at the school level to Fellows’ principal practice. This culminates in the exploration of a school-based project, which Fellows and allies collaboratively develop over the course of their Cahn Fellows experience.

Marco Morales
Marco Morales, Principal J. T. Brackenridge Elementary School

Independent research projects have found that Cahn Fellows Program’s combination of leadership curriculum, recognition, and cohort development results in extended tenure of principals and improved student outcomes in Math, English Language Arts, and student attendance.

The Cahn Fellows Program has graduated more than 300 principals since its founding in 2002. It is the only program of its kind that has been specifically designed to support the growth of exemplary school leaders.