It has never been harder to be a school principal. In 2012 the principal is expected to make certain that every child in the school makes at least a year of academic growth. They are evaluated by the performance of the students in their school and the newspaper will publicize their results. In addition to academic achievement, the principal must create a positive school culture and climate while putting a structure in place that keeps all students safe and secure. Finally, the principal must be an excellent communicator, skilled in working with the many diverse families in our school district.
There are very few individuals alive who can do all of the things I just wrote. The skill set is very broad, and yet, that’s not all. To be a great school principal you must be totally committed to the school, to attend school events, to maintain the facility, and to make certain the little details are attended to.
This afternoon I stopped by McCord Middle School. I didn’t find our school administrators (Principal Michael Kuri “pictured on the right”, Assistant Principal Kenny Chaffin “pictured on the left”) behind their desk or even in the school office. I found them out front of McCord shoveling mulch. Michael and Kenny want to make certain that McCord welcomes students and families next week in a postive way. Part of that is the first impression that visitors will get when they enter the school. If they wanted fresh mulch in August, right before school starts, they were going to have to do it themselves. Our school landscaping staff is stretched very thin and their focus right now, before school starts, is shoring up any safety issues and tending to the various athletic fields in use for fall sports.
Being a school principal is a difficult job. The best school principals take great pride and ownership in all aspects of their job. Worthington is lucky to have two principals who are not just waiting for someone else to do the work. Instead they picked up a shovel and got the job done. That’s leadership.