Karla Tarkington Achieves Designation as Master Principal

May 16th, 2013 | By admin | Category: Top Story

BY LEE “CAT” McLANE

Editor/Publisher

Karla Tarkington, principal of Badger Elementary, shows off her plaque designating her as a Master Principal at Monday night’s school board meeting. 			       (Photo by Lee “Cat” McLane)

Karla Tarkington, principal of Badger Elementary, shows off her plaque designating her as a Master Principal at Monday night’s school board meeting. (Photo by Lee “Cat” McLane)

Badger Elementary now has at the helm a Master Principal in the person of Karla Tarkington.  It took four years of hard work but the effort paid off after a site visit completed the requirements to earn such a designation.

“It took lots of work but I believe it was worth it,” commented Tarkington at the Beebe School Board meeting Monday night.

Four other  principals earned that designation in Arkansas Monday and were presented plaques recognizing their achievements.

Dr. Tom Kimbrell, Ark. Commissioner of Education said, “In addition to recruiting the best school leaders in the state to do this challenging work, we must support their professional growth and development. Through the Arkansas Leadership Academy, these principals have strengthened their skills, set the vision and culture for their schools and established a momentum necessary to improve student achievement.”

Mrs. Tarkington has been principal of Badger Elementary for five years. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Ouachita Baptist University and a Master’s from the Univ. of Ark. at Little Rock.

“Being a part of the Master Principal Program has been a great experience. As a new principal it gave me excellent guidance for what leading my school should look like. It provided the needed support to make necessary changes and take needed risks.”

Phase 1 of the Master Principal Program is open to all school principals who have at least one year of experience and the support and permission of their superintendents to participate.  Admission to the second phase of the program requires submission of a portfolio documenting the application of the lessons learned from the first phase and the results of that work to improve student and adult learning in the school. To be admitted to the third phase, principals must complete a rigorous application process that includes evidence of their impact on education at the district, state, and regional levels. The portfolios are evaluated by stakeholders in education from Arkansas as well as from out of state. After successful completion of all three phases, principals may choose to participate ain a rigorous assessment by a team of trained examiners with at least one member on each team from another state. The rigorous assessment process examines evidence from three primary sources: student performance, principal performance and school performance - which includes a site visit.

Established in 1991, The Ark. Leadership Academy is a nationally recognized statewide partnership of 15 universities; 9 professional associations; 15 educational cooperatives; the Ark. Depts. of Education, Higher Education and Career Education; the Ark. Educational Television Network; Tyson Foods, Inc; Wal-Mart Stores, Inc; superintendent representatives; the Office of the Governor; and the State Board of Education - a total of 50 partners.

Master Principals will receive a $9,000 per year bonus for five  years upon earning the designation. The are eligible for an additional $25,000 per year for five years if they are selected to serve at a low-performing school.