TASD Administrators Complete Master Principal Institute Phase III

Principals Leah Sams and Samantha Coleman

Principals Leah Sams and Samantha Coleman recently completed the Arkansas Leadership Academy Master Principal Institute Phase III. The Master Principal Program provides training and opportunities to expand the knowledge base and leadership skills of public school principals.

The Master Principal Program was established by the Arkansas 84th General Assembly in the Second Extraordinary Session of 2003 and signed into law as Act 44 by the governor; it was updated in 2013. The program is a competitive three-phase process for practicing principals that culminates with the opportunity to apply for Master Principal Designation. Mrs. Sams is currently the principal at College Hill Middle School-6th Grade Academy for the Texarkana Arkansas School District. Mrs. Sams’ passion is to bring excitement and enthusiasm to school and make the ordinary day an extraordinary memory. Her excitement and passion for education were built by her own teachers in White Oak, Texas and her professors at Texas A&M University- College Station. Both of these schools boast of their school pride. To this day, Mrs. Sams is still the proudest member of the Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2007. Her goal is to instill that same sense of pride for her students at College Hill Middle School and the Texarkana Arkansas School District.

“I want to express my gratitude to the Texarkana Arkansas School District for allowing me this opportunity to be a part of the Arkansas Leadership Academy-Master Principal Program,” Sams said. Mrs. Sams added: “Over the last three years, the Master Principal Program has provided me with the opportunity to grow personally and professionally.” Throughout her experience in the Master Principal program, Mrs. Sams said she often thought of Marguerite Hillier, a designated Master Principal. “Early in my career, Mrs. Hillier was a mentor, and I am blessed to have been able to witness her great leadership in action,” Mrs. Sams commented.

Mrs. Coleman has worked in education for the past eleven years. During this time,
she has been a teacher, assistant principal, associate principal, and head principal.
While in the Texarkana Arkansas School District, she has served at Kilpatrick
Elementary School, College Hill Middle School, and Union Elementary School. For
the upcoming school year, Mrs. Coleman will serve as the head principal for North
Heights Community School, which will be TASD’s new accelerated elementary
school. Mrs. Coleman also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the
Junior League of Texarkana.

Mrs. Coleman stated, “I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have
participated in the Master Principal Program.” “During my three years of study, I
have experienced high quality training with an emphasis on developing my leadership
skills.” Mrs. Coleman believes that the Master Principal Program provided an
opportunity that has allowed her to not only leverage her current strengths but build
upon new learning in a way that has impacted her current performance in a leadership

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