Heather Whitaker, principal of Mt. Comfort Elementary School, received notice that she was selected as a mentor for the Indiana Principal Leadership Institute. She was also nominated as a “2015 District Principal of the Year,” which she did not receive but feels honored to be nominated by a peer for this prestigious award.
The Indiana Principal Leadership Institute (IPLI) previously contacted Whitaker with the news that a peer nominated her to become an IPLI Mentor. The mission of the IPLI is to provide building-level principals with the skills and tools needed to increase their personal leadership capacity, as well as to increase the learning capacity of their schools. IPLI was created by the General Assembly in 2013 to strengthen education in our state by focusing on how to better prepare principals to lead in schools and communities.
Mentoring is a key component of the IPLI program. Mentors must maintain weekly contact with their focus-cohort member throughout the two years, as well as visit the focus-cohort member’s school at least twice per year. Mentors receive a small annual stipend and membership and conference costs are underwritten by IPLI. All mentors are appointed by the IPLI director and notification to the mentors will be made by March 15th.
Heather Whitaker states, “I am extremely honored that I was considered for both of these organizations. Both the Indiana Association of School Principals and the IPLI provide resources to help our schools be the best they can be. The successes at Mt. Comfort Elementary are due to the extensive family support in the community and my amazing staff’s hard work and dedication they show our students.”
Dr. Bill Riggs, Superintendent for Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation, states, “Heather’s commitment to provide an extraordinary academic and character-building experience for her students is apparent with her school’s successes. Her pride in the Mt. Comfort Elementary staff and students motivate her to excel in all she accomplishes. We couldn’t be more proud of Heather and her efforts at Mt. Comfort Elementary, and are thankful these two organizations recognized her for her successful leadership.”
Whitaker has been the principal of Mt. Comfort Elementary School since 2011. She has been a Mt. Vernon employee since 2000 and became an administrator at the former Intermediate School and also the Middle School in 2009. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana State University and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Ball State University.