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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.

 

Principal Profile: All About Bonita Henderson

 

Image Your school:
Parham School, a pre-K through 8 school in Cincinnati, Ohio (520 students)

Your position title:
Assistant principal

Number of years in that position:
This is my 14th year as an assistant principal.

Your prior education experience:
15 years as a classroom teacher

What is the first thing you do when you get to work in the morning?
I meet with teachers, staff, or parents. Then I have breakfast duty in the cafeteria.

Do you expect to finish your working life in this career?
No. I would like to go into business for myself as an educational consultant.

What is the biggest challenge you will face this school year?
Additional duties [that] have been added to my busy schedule.

What is your education motto/mantra?
All children can learn.

How much work, if any, do you take home?
Depends. Mostly I take home [work related to] teacher observations and teacher portfolios.

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?
The children!

Who or what most influenced your decision to become an educator?
The children!

What is an unforgivable trait in a colleague?
Lack of integrity.

What do you do to relieve stress?
T'ai chi.

What is the most important quality of a strong school leader?
Integrity.

What have you been reading lately?
I have been reading textbooks on education, leadership, and pedagogy for my doctorate.

If you are having a good day at work, what makes it good?
Teachers, staff, and students are doing their jobs. They are doing what is expected of them. Therefore, learning is taking place.