Strong leadership is a skill fundamental to the improvement and maintenance of a positive school culture that facilitates student achievement and faculty motivation.  This is why Golden Apple Foundation is partnering with area school districts and First Rockford Group, Inc. to annually provide one Assistant Principal a unique professional development experience which then he/she can share with the community.

The very first participant in the Investing in Excellence: Assistant Principal Development Program, first announced at the 18th Annual Excellence in Education Banquet, is…

Carl Hobbs of Belvidere High School!


Carl has 3 years of experience in a school leadership position. Carl also serves as Belvidere High’s Athletic Director. He is a public speaker for leadership development in schools and started an initiative called Lead Early, Lead Now. He received a Golden Apple Award in 2011.

Mr. Hobbs will attend the New and Aspiring School Leaders Program of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  The expenses covered by this program are tuition for the New and Aspiring School Leaders Program, round-trip airfare, and hotel accommodations for four nights.  Upon his return he will present at a workshop to share what he learned from the experience with administrators of other schools in the area.

Carl Hobbs was among the following Finalists for this year's Investing in Excellence Program:

  • Billy Lewis of Hononegah High School has 3 years of experience in a school leadership position. Billy developed Hononegah’s Character Education Committee which promotes research-based character skills shown to improve academics and life outcomes. He is also involved in a multi-year leadership initiative.
  • Allison Louis of Machesney and Marquette Elementary Schools has 2.5 years of experience in a school leadership position. Allison facilitates and coordinates a number of school and district committees many involving discipline, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, and long range planning. She aspires to become a principal of a Therapeutic Day or Residential School.

Next school year, Golden Apple Foundation will be accepting applications from Assistant Principals who:

  • have completed two years of experience as an Assistant Principal;
  • have a maximum of five years of school leadership experience;
  • anticipate becoming a principal within the next two years;
  • are in good standing with his/her district/school;
  • is an Assistant Principal in District 100, 122, 200, 205 or 207.