Each week, Education World profiles a different school principal. His or her responses offer insight into what it takes to be a principal, what a principal's day is like, and the special challenges a principal faces.
Kellogg High School, a 9-12 school in Kellogg, Idaho (420 students).
Your education experience:
[I worked] 17 years as a teacher, three years as a high school teacher and activities director, three years as a middle school principal, and one year as the current high school principal.
What's the first thing you do when you get to work in the morning?
I turn off the pop machines and turn on my computer.
Do you expect to finish your working life in this career?
I am involved in church work activities. I would like to see that expand to full-time work within the next five years.
What is your education motto or mantra?
Keep the interest of the students at the heart of every decision!
Why would anyone want to become a school administrator?
It's a challenge and a charge! I have never been in a job where the time speeds by so fast. You grow as a person like never before. You become less selfish, more aware of others' needs and feelings. You must fire on all eight cylinders. Being a principal is like being involved in an X-treme sport: You're living on the edge, and you feel so very alive.
How much work, if any, do you take home?
Very little. I stay late so I can leave my work at school.
If you have one of those days when you don't think you can face the job again, what is it that gets you out the door and off to work the next morning?
My sense of responsibility. Too many others depend on me to do my job.
What do you do to relieve stress?
Exercise and get out of town as frequently as is practical.
What is the most important quality of a strong school leader?
The ability to inspire others to greatness!