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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 John J. Stone


ImageYour school:
Rindge Memorial School, a K-5 school in Rindge, New Hampshire (380 students).

Your education experience:
I taught for 18 years and was a teacher trainer for three years. I have been a principal in the same district in which I taught for six years.

How many hours a week do you work?
I really never tracked it. I am in by 7:30 a.m. each day, and I'm here until at least 4 p.m. Then there are the night meetings and committee work. It all adds up. I would say 55 to 60 hours per week.

Do you expect to finish your working life in this career?
I hope so. I have about ten years to go, give or take.

What is the biggest challenge you will face this school year?
Every day is a challenge, and I enjoy all of them.

What is your education motto or mantra?
"Childhood is a journey, not a race."

How much work, if any, do you take home?
I try not to take much home, but I write all my teacher evaluations at home. My family stays away when I'm doing that!

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?
I try to take each day as a new day. If I am stressed out, I close my doors, play some music, and think.

What is the most important quality of a strong school leader?
To never lose sight of what it is like to be a teacher.

Who or what most influenced your decision to become a principal?
My time as a teacher trainer and my first public school principal, Richard Sawyer. He kept after me to get my master's degree. I thank him for that.