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 within urban schools. LENS participants study the best practices of successful charter 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, lens, and voice
  • 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 23 (travel day) – July 1, 2019 | Boston, Massachusetts

Two additional professional development trainings including four+ school observations
– November 6-8, 2019 | Nashville, Tennessee
– March 18-20, 2020 | 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
  • available to participate in the full calendar of LENS training

Cost 2019-2020

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 2019 LENS application is now closed. Applications for the 2020 LENS cohort will be accepted in the spring. 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 Jill Dunchick at jdunchick@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
Co-Founder & School Director, Grizzlies Prep, TN

“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, Opportunity 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 School Leader, 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 Dean of Students, Soulsville Charter School, TN