Nearly 700 High School Principals Discuss Safety in Schools and Student Achievement Gap

Resources Available to Principals Nationwide through Union Pacific’s The Principals’ Partnership Program

Omaha, Neb., July 16, 2007 – Nearly 700 public high school principals representing 21 states are meeting this week at The Principals’ Partnership Summer Institute in San Antonio to discuss critical issues in education – including safety in schools and closing the achievement gap between low-income and minority students and other youth.

The professional development conference is an annual highlight of The Principals’ Partnership, a program created by Union Pacific to support public high school principals in communities served by the nation’s largest railroad.

"The Principals’ Partnership grew from research indicating that highly skilled principals are a critical factor in the success of high school students," said Bob Turner, Union Pacific Foundation president and UP’s senior vice president for corporate relations. "The program, and particularly the Summer Institute, offers professional development opportunities to principals, including a forum to network, exchange ideas and hear from some of the nation’s leading educational experts."

The Partnership also offers an award-winning Web site available to all educators, www.principalspartnership.com. The site features case studies, best practices, and a library of research briefs on a variety of topics, including "Border States and Immigration Students," "Poverty," "Parent Involvement," "Math Interventions," "Literacy Across Curriculum" and many others. The Partnership Web site also includes frequent profiles on principals’ successes, Breaking Ranks information and news items relevant to high school principals.

The sixth annual Principals Partnership Summer Institute, held July 16-19, at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter, features speakers such as Ron Clark, the 2000 Disney American Teacher of the Year and subject of the TNT original movie, "The Ron Clark Story;" Darrell Scott, the founder of Rachel’s Challenge (Darrell’s daughter, Rachel, was a victim of the Columbine High School shootings); and Doug Reeves, founder of the Center for Performance Assessment, an international organization dedicated to improving student achievement and educational equity.

Principals can also attend a variety of break out sessions at the Summer Institute, including:

  • Gangs in our Schools: Signs and Solutions to Combat the Problem
  • Supporting English Language Learners
  • Transitioning to High School – 8th grade concerns, 9th grade success
  • Ethics and the High School Principal
  • Professional Learning Communities – the Collaborative High School at Work
  • Crisis Interventions for Students and Schools
  • Literacy Strategies
  • Serving Students and Families from Poverty
  • The Principal’s Role in Making Schools Safe
  • Motivating Reluctant Learners

The Principals’ Partnership, the signature giving program of the Union Pacific Foundation, is one of America’s premier business and education partnerships. The program supports a network of 1,000 public high school principals in 21 states. Principals exchange knowledge, best practices and resources across the network, and are supported by The Partnership’s team of nationally recognized educators. Team members also develop a customized program for each principal, working with principals on key issues they have identified as areas of concern in their schools. Professional development opportunities, including the Summer Leadership Institute conference, are offered throughout the year. There is no cost to principals or school districts for Partnership activities.

The Principals’ Partnership has been honored by state education associations in Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and Arizona; the California Association of Renaissance Educators, the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Business Civic Leadership Center. It is estimated that The Partnership, through the participating principals, will reach approximately 71,000 teachers and 1 million students this year.

Union Pacific Foundation

The Union Pacific Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of Union Pacific Corporation. The Foundation has distributed funds since 1959 to qualified organizations in communities served by Union Pacific. The Foundation is not endowed, but is funded each year from the operating profits of Union Pacific Corporation. Much of the foundation’s philanthropic support is directed toward The Principals’ Partnership, its signature giving program. Union Pacific believes principals who are effective leaders build strong schools, which in turn produce solid citizens, workers and adults. When that happens, we all benefit.

About Union Pacific

Union Pacific Corporation owns one of America's leading transportation companies. Its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad, links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country and serves the fastest-growing U.S. population centers. Union Pacific’s diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad offers competitive long-haul routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways. Union Pacific connects with Canada’s rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico, making it North America’s premier rail franchise.

For more information, contact Shannon Sherman at (402) 514-9423, or Rose Marie Eash at (210) 227-0221, ext. 254.

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