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Cahn Fellows Program

The Fund is honored to support a Chicago cohort of Columbia University’s prestigious Cahn Fellows Program for Distinguished Public School Principals. The Cahn Fellows program is managed in partnership with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and provides superior professional learning for some of our city’s top principal leaders.

This 15-month fellowship, generously funded by and the Chicago Cahn Advisory Board, is managed by the Cahn Fellows staff in collaboration with faculty from Columbia University’s Teachers College. The program, which serves leaders from across the country, kicks off with a two-week summer institute where Fellows and their “allies” — typically an assistant principal or teacher — study leadership in different contexts. Fellows and allies also collaborate on a leadership-focused project at their schools and receive specialized guidance from Teachers College faculty. This approach bridges the gap between theory and practice and helps principals tackle tough challenges, like building trust in their communities, developing teacher leaders, and serving students with diverse needs. Principals also develop and support the talents of aspiring leaders in their schools.

By providing principals an opportunity to learn from and thought-partner with accomplished leaders across the nation, the Cahn Fellows Program exposes our school leaders to a diverse range of proven best-practices while allowing them to highlight the excellent work they are leading in Chicago.

Cahn Fellows are effective, seasoned principals who have built thriving schools. There are eight principals and eight allies participating in the Cahn Fellows Program during the 2020-21 school year.

Principal Fellowships

Meet the Fellows

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