Aspiring school administrator Denver Fowler is one step closer to achieving his goal.

Aspiring school administrator Denver Fowler is one step closer to achieving his goal.

The sixth-grade teacher at Licking Heights Central Middle School recently received a $2,000 Learning and Leadership grant from the National Education Association Foundation to attend Harvard Graduate School of Education's New and Aspiring School Leaders program.

"I'm extremely excited to have the opportunity to attend this prestigious program at Harvard University," Fowler said.

During his Harvard visit, he said, he will work with faculty and seasoned practitioners, studying the leadership challenges in American schools.

Fowler, a member of The Principals Center at Harvard, currently is working toward his doctorate in educational leadership and administration at Ohio University, where he is in the dissertation process. While in the program, he has obtained his principal's license for pre-kindergarten through high school, completed all coursework toward his superintendent's license and published two scholarly book reviews in national education journals.

Fowlder said the New and Aspiring School Leaders program focuses on strategies to build and sustain effective learning environments, improve instructional excellence, utilize resources and time to maximize student achievement and discover ways to support all classroom learners.

Fowler said he wasn't the only person vying for the grant.

"The National Education Association Foundation Learning and Leadership grant is extremely competitive to obtain," he said. "My grant proposal was selected from a highly competitive national pool of applicants."

Fowler said the national grant is given to individuals to fund participation in high-quality professional development experiences.

"We're very proud of him as a school district," said Superintendent Philip Wagner, who is aware that Fowler is working toward becoming a school administrator. "This is a worthwhile endeavor that will help him reach his goal."

In addition to his teaching duties at Licking Heights, Fowler is a part-time adjunct professor and lecturer at The Ohio State University, where he teaches several courses in the College of Education and Human Ecology.