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 year-long, 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 strong student 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:

  • Nine days of summer training in Boston (if travel is permitted due to COVID-19)
  • Two additional professional development trainings including 7+ school observations
    – November 4-7, 2020 | Virtual
    – March 24-27, 2021 | Boston, MA or Virtual
    Note: school observations will only take place if school is back in session and it is safe to conduct visits.
  • Leadership self-assessment and one-on-one coaching with BES staff on a regular basis via phone, email, and through an online video coaching platform
  • On-site visit by BES staff for observation and formal evaluative report
  • Structured network of support with colleagues in the LENS cohort

The 2020-21 LENS program costs $14,000 per participant (includes travel-related expenses). This is a reduced price due to budgetary implications of the COVID-19 crisis.


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 following school year)
  • available to participate in the full calendar of LENS training

Become a LENS leader:

Our 2020-21 LENS application is closed. Applications for the 2021-22 LENS cohort will be accepted in the spring of 2021. To be considered, each LENS candidate must have:

  • A nomination form completed and submitted by their school leader
  • A completed and submitted candidate application

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

Why BES

What Leaders Are Saying

Christian Toledo

“LENS equipped me with the skills that I need to effectively and equitably lead a school in the South Bronx. The intensive small group training, school visits, monthly coaching calls, and networking opportunities have elevated my leadership skills and allowed me to bring back innovative ideas that have improved our overall school community. As a result, Legacy College Prep has achieved higher scholar growth while creating a safe and engaging learning environment for all.”

Christian Toledo
Assistant Principal/Principal in Residency, Legacy College Prep, NY

LaTrina Johnson

“LENS is the first program I’ve participated in that affirms leading with heart and passion, which was important to me as a woman of color in leadership. The uncompromising level of excellence in this program compels new leaders to courageously reach for the highest bar, even when we don’t yet know the pathway to get there. Educational inequity won’t be undone in a day, but LENS armors us with the skills and voice for us to be brazen enough to believe that we can end it in our lifetime.”

LaTrina Johnson
Assistant Principal, RePublic High School, TN

Jerome Reyes

“My leadership gains from the LENS program have been noteworthy, and my gains in community and mentorship have been astronomical. My fellow LENS leaders helped to shape not only my leadership skills, but our school’s culture as we prepare to open our doors for the first time.”

Jerome Reyes
School President, Butler Academy, SC

Lizzie Stewart

“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

Parker Couch

“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

Kate Freudenheim

“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

Maya G. Robinson

“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