high school principals present at PIC workshop

The Principal Impact Collaborative (PIC) at the University of North Texas at Dallas (UNT Dallas) has announced its 2021 cohort of 30 principals from school districts across the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

PIC is an innovative leadership program for North Texas school leaders. The PIC program supports and empowers high-performing principals with at least two years of service in urban schools that are typically underserved in talent pipeline and professional development opportunities. Principals are invited to apply to the program by their district leadership and participate in a rigorous interview process.

Launched in 2016, PIC formally transitioned in 2019 to its long-term home at UNT Dallas, representing the university’s investment and belief in PIC’s mission to sustain and build the innovative capacity of experienced school leaders across Dallas-Fort Worth.

“Our Principal Impact Collaborative is a nationally recognized training program that incorporates design thinking, leadership development and peer networking,” said UNT Dallas President Bob Mong. “This actionable and engaging instruction lifts principals to new heights.”

The program’s approach is focused on respecting the individual leader and equipping them with the confidence, skills, and resilience to lead successfully and generate positive and sustained impact in their schools and within their communities. The skills and mindsets that principals gain through participation in the PIC program help them prioritize their own wellbeing, resulting in increased job satisfaction and retention for individuals in these demanding roles.

Over the course of a two year fellowship , principals participate in monthly workshops and focus on an innovative design project while honing their leadership skills. During the pandemic, principals engaged virtually. The 2021 cohort will participate via a hybrid model with some sessions in person and others conducted virtually.

“I’m looking forward to working with this dynamic and inspiring group of leaders and I’m grateful they have chosen to invest in themselves and deepen their impact in their communities. Over the last five years, we have had opportunities to iterate and improve upon our curriculum to ensure each principal is receiving high quality and targeted development and believe the investment in this group of principals will allow them to create equitable solutions for their schools,” said PIC Chief Program Officer Amanda Dudley.

The 2021 Cohort is PIC’s fifth principal fellowship cohort, and their largest to date, including three new district partners.  This fifth cohort enters the program at a time when principals are confronted with unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

Meet the PIC 2021 Cohort

Alicia Iwasko, Dallas Independent School District

Amber Shields, Dallas Independent School District

Carol Crowling, Dallas Independent School District

Cheryl Freeman, Dallas Independent School District

Gayle Rodgers, Dallas Independent School District

Joseph Sotelo, Dallas Independent School District

Lucia Salinas, Dallas Independent School District

Marco Antonio Barker, Dallas Independent School District

Natasha Shaw, Dallas Independent School District

Olga Romero, Dallas Independent School District

Oscar Spurlock III, Dallas Independent School District

Scott Rudes, Dallas Independent School District

Valarie Kendrick, Dallas Independent School District

Vincent Garcia, Dallas Independent School District

Yoshiko Totsuka, Dallas Independent School District

Lindsay Staros Guajardo, Fort Worth Independent School District

Naomi Salas, Fort Worth Independent School District

Amber Hope, Garland Independent School District

Andrea Kleckner, Garland Independent School District

Brandy Schneider, Garland Independent School District

Jacqueline J. Rhymes, Garland Independent School District

Jade Hobbs, Garland Independent School District

Kim Marsh, Garland Independent School District

Shae Creel, Garland Independent School District

Jaeil Kim, IDEA Public Schools

Wauneta Vann, KIPP Texas Public Schools

Kennitra Robertson, Plano Independent School District

Ryan Steele, Plano Independent School District

Chermanda Frazier, Uplift Education

Rachel Yearwood, Uplift Education


The Principal Impact Collaborative (PIC) at UNT Dallas supports elite public-school principals to drive impactful change on their campuses. PIC’s innovative, two-year fellowship program is designed to connect experienced North Texas area principals with like-minded peers, reignite their passion for the work, and provide them with the tools and resources to set and execute a vision to improve their campuses. Principals participate in monthly workshops that provide high-quality leadership development, coupled with an immersive experience into the human centered design process and support as they incubate and execute a 'big idea' action project designed to drive campus improvement.