The Novice Leader Academy, presented by New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO), is a program uniquely designed for New Orleans principals entering into the role for the first time.

By providing participants with a streamlined scope of adaptive leadership skills and competencies, as well as partnering them with high- performing, veteran principals in the city, we help cultivate a welcoming, supportive educational community to effectively lead high-quality public schools for the students of New Orleans.

The Novice Leader Academy was developed in order to:

foster a strong community of successor and novice principals across the city of New Orleans,

strategically develop novice principals around key mindsets, competencies, and adaptive skills needed to successfully lead a New Orleans school in their first year, and

celebrate, support, and encourage novice principals during one of the most pivotal years in their school leadership career.

Meet the Leaders


Scope of Learning

Throughout the duration of the program, novice principals engage in workshops and learning experiences that focus on adaptive leadership competencies.

Program Experiences

Participants engage in these competencies over the course of two years through

  • core sessions (1 – 2 day workshops) led by local, high-performing principals,
  • site visits to analyze leadership at successful schools, and
  • individual mentor coaching with a highly-effective, veteran New Orleans principal.

Mentor partnerships are strategically designed in order to pair novice principals with high-performing and experienced principals. Thoughtful consideration is given to the pairings, specifically in the areas of school context and diversity. NSNO uses a leadership qualities-based rubric to ensure high-level coaching. In addition, network leaders are able to determine an internal mentor principal to partner with their successor principal, if so desired.

Eligible Participant Requirements

In the first year of the Novice Leader Academy, NSNO will choose 5-7 participants. The ideal candidate is a New Orleans charter school principal who may represent the following:

  • Successor principal who will be assuming the role of a school’s current principal the following year
  • First-year principal who will be founding a new school for the first time.

Application Timeline

March 2022: Selected successors will be invited to join Novice Leader Academy after completing a nomination form and completing an interview with the NSNO team.

May 2022: Novice Leader Academy’s New Cohort Welcome Dinner


Email Daniel Meekins at daniel[at]