Tailored Support for Maximum Impact

Leadership Development

At BES, we recognize that leaders need to be supported and challenged in the right way at the right time. From yearlong cohort-based trainings to short, two-day intensives, to coaching tailored to specific needs, our leadership and organizational development programs do just that.

LENS: Leaders for Emerging Networks of Schools

Leaders for Emerging Networks of Schools, or LENS, is yearlong, part-time training for individuals preparing to take on heightened leadership roles in schools. LENS participants study the best practices of successful schools from across the nation and develop their leadership voice and mindset through hands-on coaching. LENS is a valuable tool for schools looking to build their leadership bench and equip a new wave of leaders.

LENS provides robust content and training on:

  • Developing a leader’s mindset and voice with an equity lens
  • Managing strong adult culture by equipping and inspiring adults to perform successfully
  • Setting appropriate school culture, including arrivals, transitions, thresholds, discipline, and classroom systems
  • Delivering effective instruction, including curriculum, rigor, classroom routines and procedures, and assessment

LENS training consists of the following:

Eight days of intense summer training
– June 24 – July 2, 2020 | Boston, Massachusetts

Two additional professional development trainings including seven+ school observations
– November 2020 | Nashville, Tennessee
– March 2021 | Boston, Massachusetts

  • Leadership coaching with BES staff on a regular basis via phone, email, and through an online video coaching platform
  • Leadership development self-assessment reviewed by BES staff
  • On-site visit by BES staff member for observation and formal evaluative report
  • Structured network of support with colleagues in the LENS cohort

LENS leaders are:

  • committed to school leadership
  • aligned with BES beliefs about excellent leaders and schools
  • proven effective teachers at the classroom level
  • recently elevated to leadership or considered to be on track for school leadership in one to two years
  • currently coaching adults in schools for more than two hours per week (or will be doing so in the 2020-2021 school year)
  • available to participate in the full calendar of LENS training

Cost 2020-2021

LENS costs $15,000 per participant. This includes:

  • On-site trainings (initial eight days of training, additional six days of training)
  • Hours of detailed leadership coaching from BES staff
  • Access to the online coaching portal
  • The leadership development self-assessment
  • Travel, hotel accommodations, and food for on-site trainings


The application for the 2020-2021 LENS cohort is now live. How does a leader enroll in the LENS program?

: Learn about the LENS program.

Click here for an overview of LENS. Want to know more? Contact us.

STEP TWO: School nominates a LENS leader.
Next, we’d like to learn about your LENS leader candidate through our online nomination form designed to inform us about your candidate’s role, strengths, and goals/professional priorities. Note that applicants must be currently coaching adults 2+ hours per week (or will take on this responsibility in 2020-2021) to be considered for this opportunity.

STEP THREE: LENS leader candidate completes online application.
Additionally, we’d like to learn from the LENS leader candidate through our online HireVue application. The application asks questions about the applicant’s current role, leadership style, and growth areas and requires both written and video responses.

STEP FOUR: BES reviews applications.
The BES LENS team will review applications on a rolling basis through May 15. Accepted candidates will be notified within approximately 10 business days after applying.

STEP FIVE: BES invites select applicants to join the 2020-2021 LENS cohort.
LENS leaders will take part in eight days of intense summer training, two additional professional development trainings, and 7+ school observations. Dates and details above.

For more information about LENS, please contact Krista Pendergast at kpendergast@bes.org.


What Leaders Are Saying

“LENS equipped me to be an effective school leader. The summer training experience was transformative. I received targeted development in coaching and developing teachers; handling challenging, crucial conversations; generating and executing a weekly schedule; and discovering and maintaining a strong leadership voice and presence. Once summer training concluded, the development and assistance I received continued with a leadership coach. Having a coach during my first year as a school leader was invaluable as I received critical guidance for any and all situations that arose.”

Parker Couch
Director of Growth and Infrastructure, Compass Rose Education, Inc., TX

“My time in the LENS program has proven to be invaluable as I continue to grow as a leader within my school. Heading into the school year as a new principal, I felt confident knowing that LENS had equipped me with the skills and resources necessary to sustain a strong school culture focused on academic achievement and adult accountability. Through LENS, I was able to find and strengthen my leadership presence. “

Lizzie Stewart
Principal, Independence Academy, Intrepid College Prep, TN

“LENS training was invaluable to me in my development as I prepare to lead as principal. The heightened level of discussion, precision detail in sessions, and frequent direct feedback raised the bar for my own growth and the level of development I was prepared to bring back to my school. Continued support throughout the year was incredibly individualized allowing me to address specific needs at my school. As a school leader, I am certain I will be sending future leaders to LENS to continue pushing our team toward our vision. LENS truly pushed me to grow and polish my leadership presence.”

Kate Freudenheim
Assistant Head of School 2015-2019, Tulsa Honor Academy, OK

“To describe my LENS experience in one word, I choose elevating. Working alongside LENS leaders and the thoughtful feedback of my coach challenged me in many ways. I now feel more confident and effective as a leader. I highly recommend LENS to all individuals who serve in supportive leadership roles for their school.”

Maya G. Robinson
High School Director, Soulsville Charter School, TN