Principal and Assistant Principal Talent Pools Page

Thank you for your interest in helping us educate every child, every day, for a better tomorrow through serving as a school leader with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. As we implement our Strategic Plan 2018, we recognize that principals and assistant principals play critical roles in meeting our goals as a district.  We look to them to design and lead schools that nurture innovation and entrepreneurship in our students so that they are prepared for the workforce of the future.

Whether you are an aspiring leader already working in CMS, or considering a move to our district, we applaud your interest and look forward to working with you as you learn more about the process to become a school leader in CMS.

The role of school leader is second only to teaching at CMS, and the competencies, skills and beliefs required Day 1 on the job are critical to the long term success in the role.  For that reason, our Principal and Assistant Principal Talent Pool processes were redesigned in winter 2013-14 to ensure we effectively identify candidates who demonstrate the competencies, skills and beliefs required on the first day in the job.

The competencies, skills, and beliefs measured in our talent pool process are:

  • Belief in Children
  • Building Relationships and Influencing Others
  • Establishing a Culture of High Expectations
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Integrity
  • Stamina, Initiative, Persistence
  • Strategic Decision-Making and Problem Solving
  • Talent Management and Development

Learn more about these competencies, skills, and beliefs here.

In addition to exhibiting the competencies, skills, and beliefs outlined above, qualified candidates also have:

  • A valid administrator license in any state* or will complete all principal preparation program requirements by the date outlined in the Talent Pool job posting.  *Note: To be eligible for selection to a Principal or Assistant Principal position, verification of principal licensure must be completed.
  • At least three years of teaching experience (preferred).
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • For Principal candidates, at least three years of experience as a principal or assistant principal (preferred).

Talent Pool Process

The Talent Pool process consists of three steps. You must pass each step before being invited to move onto the next step. If you do not pass a step, you are permitted to reapply the following school year (you may apply only once each school year). The steps in the selection process are:

  1. Application – An online application including a structured resume, detailed letter of interest, and recommendations. More information is provided below.
  2. Virtual Interview – For the Principal Talent Pool, this consists of a short online interview.  For the Assistant Principal Talent Pool, this includes additional school data and teacher observation exercises.  You will need access to a computer or tablet with a camera to complete this interview. More information is provided when you are invited to participate.
  3. Screening Event – For the Principal Talent Pool, this is a half-day, in person event consisting of several activities including a role play, in-basket exercise, school data review, and a teacher observation.  For the Assistant Principal Talent Pool, this is an hour long interview including a role play.  More information is provided when you are invited to participate.

Detailed Application Instructions

To apply, you will need to update or complete your CMS administrative online application. When you get to the “Jobs” tab of the application, you should select the appropriate talent pool posting from the list. Once you select the posting, you will be prompted to attach each of the documents below. Be sure you have each document saved as a single, separate file as you will be asked for them individually.

Please note that the documentation required has been updated. Candidates are encouraged to submit documentation that reflects their most recent experience and evidence of their potential as CMS school leaders.

Documents you will be prompted to attach:

  1. Letter of interest that includes your response to specific guiding questions. Instructions for the Principal Talent Pool letter of interest are available here.  Instructions for the Assistant Principal Talent Pool letter of interest are available here.
  2. Structured résumé that provides information about your work and leadership experiences, accomplishments, and results.  Instructions are the same for both pools and can be found here.  A sample resume can be found here
  3. Two completed recommendations forms that provide feedback on your demonstration of the competencies, skills, and beliefs being measured in the talent pool selection process.  One of these recommendations should be from a current supervisor and one should be from a previous supervisor. 

    You can find the form here.  These are not confidential recommendations.  Print or email a copy of the recommendation form (in Google Docs, click File and then select Download-please do not send a request to "Share" the document through Google Docs) to each supervisor and ask them to return the completed form to you.  Once you receive the complete recommendation forms you should attach them to your application when prompted.

    If you are applying for the Principal Talent Pool, these recommendations should be from a principal or equivalent.  If you are applying for the Assistant Principal Talent Pool, your current supervisor recommendation form must be from your current principal or equivalent level.  It is acceptable for your former supervisor recommendation form to be from a Principal, Assistant Principal or equivalent level.

  4. Most recent summative end-of-year performance evaluation.
  • Preferred:  2016-17 summative evaluation
    (Internal applicants can retrieve archived evaluations from MyTalent. If necessary, internal applicants may request CMS evaluation documents by contacting Please include the position held at the time of the evaluation as well as your CMS employee ID.)
  • If you do not have a 2016-17 summative evaluation, acceptable alternatives (in order of preference) include:


    • 2015-16 summative evaluation
    • Alternative formal evaluation
    • Letter from supervisor regarding performance, including reason why formal evaluation is not available


  • Licensure documentation
    • Already licensed
      • For external candidates who are already licensed: State license AND degree-conferred transcript of a principal preparation program if license is out-of-state
      • Internal candidates who are already licensed: When applying directly to the position and asked to attach required licensure documentation, please upload a Word document that states the following: "Internal candidate.  Already licensed."
    • For internal and external candidates not yet licensed:  Unofficial transcript that shows anticipated completion or letter from program executive director indicating completion of a principal preparation program by close of current selection window

Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Click here to begin the application process.

For any additional questions, please email