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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 Kathleen Hill


Image Your school:
Sandwich Central School, a K-6 school in Sandwich, New Hampshire (97 students).

Your education experience:
Eighteen years as a classroom teacher, including four years as a teaching principal at Sandwich Central.

How did you get your job as principal?
I was hired as a teaching principal at the last minute. They hired me on a Monday night. I started working at 8 a.m. Tuesday. The teachers came for the first workday on Thursday. The students started the next Tuesday. I was "a deer in the headlights"!

What is your education motto or mantra?
"Is this in the best interest of the students?"

What is an unforgivable trait in a colleague?
Giving up on a student.

Who or what most influenced your decision to become an educator?
My mother was a reading teacher. She made me want to teach!

What does your work contribute to society? My work strikes a balance between standards and the need to address individuals.

What do you do to relieve stress?
I like to act. I am involved in professional summer stock and I love to direct children's performances. I read a lot too.

What is the most important quality of a strong school leader?
Honesty. If people can trust you, they will follow you anywhere!

What have you been reading lately?
Young adult fiction, including Running Out of Time and A String in the Harp.

You just made a career move. You gave up your principalship to become curriculum coordinator for the district that includes Sandwich Central School. Why the switch?
Working at Sandwich has been wonderful. It's a small rural school with a great faculty. I am leaving only because I would prefer not to be split between administration and teaching. I will miss being in my own building.