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The AEF® Principals Leadership Academy of Arizona (PLAA) is designed to help guide and launch aspiring school leaders and new principals into leadership success! 

Now in its 17th year, the esteemed AEF® Principals Leadership Academy of Arizona (PLAA) is one of the only administrator prep programs in the state of Arizona for aspiring school leaders and first-year principals. Curriculum is designed and facilitated by A+ School of Excellence principals and district administrators as well as state education leaders.



PLAA content is uniquely Arizona-based, offering participants strategies and best practices that have been proven effective in Arizona schools.


PLAA topics include:

  • How to prepare and manage school budgets;

  • Communication strategies for working with students, parents, teachers, and district staff;

  • Building a positive school climate and culture; 

  • Creating school mission and vision statements;

  • Personnel from a principal perspective;

  • Tips for administrators on navigating media inquiries;

  • Pending and passed legislation impacting schools;

  • Creating safe schools;

  • Avoiding legal pitfalls; and much more.



Curriculum is based on the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders developed by the Chief Council of State School Officers. All participants are paired with a Principal Mentor from an A+ School of Excellence.

Upon graduation from the Academy, principals have an enhanced understanding and ability to apply professional practice, concepts, and values in learning, leadership, and policy. Full participation and attendance results in 85 Continuing Education Units from the University of Phoenix.



2024–2025 Registration is Open!


Meetings: The 9-month program of study will be a mix of in-person and virtual classes meeting once per month on Saturdays. All sessions are from 9:00am-3:00pm. Sessions will not be recorded as participant interaction and group discussion are important aspects of the program.

Location: In order to provide participants with an expanded view of education throughout Arizona, in-person sessions will be held in different locations in Phoenix, Tucson, and Casa Grande. 


Requirements: In addition to attending Saturday sessions once per month, participants are also matched with a mentor who is an experienced A+ School of Excellence principal from their local area. Among other interactions, participants have the unique opportunity of shadowing their mentor for a day at their A+ school. Participants are also welcomed (not required) to participate as an observer on an A+ School of Excellence site visit team.

Cost: Tuition per participant for the 9-month Academy is $1,750, which includes all texts, necessary materials, breakfast, lunches, and snacks.  Participants who apply before May 31st will receive a discounted enrollment cost of $1500. A limited number of partial scholarships may be available for individuals without district support based on grant funding.

Certification: 85 Continuing Education Units (CEU's)

Frequently asked Question:

Does PLAA count towards administrative certification?


Although PLAA does not replace an administrative internship that is required for an administrative certificate, participants do receive 85 CEU’s that can be used towards renewing current certificates held. If a participant is currently enrolled in an administrative program with a university, they are encouraged to speak with someone from the university to determine if the 85 CEU’s can be used toward intern hours.


  • Participants may be educators who aspire to be principals or new principals.

  • Participants must be open to working with a Principal Mentor from an A+ School of Excellence.

  • Participants must be able to commit to attending eight Saturday sessions once per month for eight months (dates below) and also conduct a site visit to their Principal Mentor's A+ School of Excellence.


  • ​August 24, 2024 - Casa Grande

  • September 28, 2024 - Tucson

  • November 2, 2024 - Phoenix

  • December 7, 2024 - via Zoom

  • January 11, 2025 - Tucson

  • February 1, 2025 - via Zoom

  • March 1, 2025 - Phoenix

  • April 5, 2025 - Phoenix

The October site visit to your mentor's A+ School counts at the 9th PLAA session and will be scheduled by you and your mentor during your first meeting.


Kelley Brunner, PLAA Coordinator | 480-239-1424 |

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