Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

Read Bio  

Beginning Administrator


Leader Support and Development

The vision for the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) is to lead the nation in student-focused learning.  To accomplish this vision, the ADE must provide a quality leadership support system for all administrators.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

As defined in the Arkansas Every Student Succeeds Act, an effective school leader is an educational leader who through training and experience (more than 3 years as a school leader) exemplifies the state’s school leadership standards, as demonstrated by consistently high performance ratings within a state-approved evaluation and support system that includes multiple measures of student growth. An effective leader promotes the success and well-being of every student by:

  • engaging all stakeholders in shared leadership to accomplish the vision;
  • modeling ethical professional behavior
  • maintaining an equitable and culturally responsible environment;
  • supporting a rigorous curricular system;
  • communicating and collaborating effectively with the community and external partners;
  • seeking continual professional growth; and
  • supporting the professional growth of the educational staff.

Beginning Administrators

The first three years are “formative” years for new administrators when they are developing and nurturing their leadership skills. The multi-tiered support system provided by the ADE, which is aligned to the Leader Excellence and Development System (LEADS) and the new Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL).

  • Mentoring for first year administrators includes induction and regional networking opportunities sponsored by the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators (AAEA) in partnership with the ADE. These professional learning networks will be facilitated by experienced administrators.
  • During the next two years of mentoring, administrators may participate in the Arkansas Leadership Quest focusing on relevant topics available for all administrators and held in educational cooperatives around the state. These supports allow for collaboration with other leaders, help build on-going support for administrators, and provide activities to further develop their leadership skills.
  • In addition to networking opportunities, all administrators may also choose to participate in competency-based learning by completing micro-credentials that focus on particular areas of growth. This encourages administrators to continually seek self-directed professional development.  

Out of State Experienced Administrators and Administrators Returning to the Profession

Experienced administrators new to Arkansas or returning to the profession may attend informational meetings on Teacher Excellence and Support System (TESS), LEADS, and EdReflect. These regional meetings will be held by the ADE prior to the school year and again in the fall and spring.

All Arkansas Administrators

To facilitate professional learning of Arkansas educational administrators, LEADS is a statewide support/evaluation system for leaders. Both building-level and district-level administrators have flexibility to personalize continuous improvement for the benefit of all educators and students, as well as other contributors to the local school organization. In this evidence-based design, leaders have capacity to become self-empowered and more effective through documentation and reflection of leadership practices. EdReflect is the online data collection and management system used for both TESS and LEADS. This electronic platform provides educators transparency and access to communication tools to broaden their personal learning network.  

Leadership Quest

All administrators may choose to participate in the Arkansas Leadership Quest, to receive support and development through regional professional networks. The Leadership Quest will maximize support for the administrators and provide an opportunity for personalized learning.


For more information, please contact:

Andy Sullivan, Director
Division of Educator Effectiveness and Licensure
Arkansas Department of Education
Four Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: 501-682-8526
Fax: 501-682-1193

State Standards

Learn more about the standards that define the knowledge and skills Arkansas students should have in order to be ready for college and careers.

Learn More

Licensure & Certification

Find critical information about renewing Arkansas educator licenses, adding areas of licensure, licensing by reciprocity from other states, background checks and more.

Learn More


Learn More


Learn More