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.
Jefferson Davis High School, Montgomery, Alabama
Number of years in that position:
This is my first year in this school.
Your previous education experience:
7 years as a foreign language teacher, 3 years as an assistant principal, 5 years as principal of a junior high school.
Do you expect to finish your working life in this career?
I hope to be promoted to assistant superintendent.
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?
A new day brings new challenges. I can look at myself in the mirror and tell myself that I always try to do what is best for the children.
Who or what most influenced your decision to become an educator?
My children. When they reached school age, I wanted to become more involved in -- and more knowledgeable about -- education.
What does your work contribute to society?
My staff and I provide a well-balanced curriculum in a safe, caring learning environment for our community.
What do you do to relieve stress?
Not enough! I need to get on an exercise program. I do enjoy water-skiing, going to out to dinner, and going to the movies.
What is the most important quality of a strong school leader?
A strong school leader must have a vision for the school and the backbone to stand by his or her convictions.
If you could have a different career, what would that be?
Travel agent. I love to travel. But I am not seeking a different career at this time.
What have you been reading lately?
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey.
If you're having a good day at work, what makes it good?
The day has few discipline problems, all teachers teaching, and no parents fussing!