Search form

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 Bridget Braney


Image Your school:
This profile was published in 2001. In 2003, Braney changed jobs; she is currently principal at Orchard Hill Elementary School, a K-5 school in South Windsor, Connecticut (500 students).

Your education experience:
11 years as a classroom teacher and 2 years as a principal.

How did you get your current job?
I was encouraged to apply by a town resident who is a retired educator. She had no connections to the school, but she thought I would be a good fit for the school.

What is the biggest challenge you will face this school year?
We are changing our inclusion model so it will work to benefit everyone: students, parents, teachers, paraprofessionals, special educators, and administrators.

What is your education motto/mantra?
Education is a lifelong endeavor. Never stop learning. Plan for the worst, and hope for the best!

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?
Faith in the educational system, and a belief that I am doing right for the children. I also will visit classrooms to spend extended time with very talented teachers.

Who or what most influenced your decision to become an educator?
My mentor, Jane Leone, a 35-year educator (retired) with a personal touch that instilled loyalty and devotion among staff members.

What do you do to relieve stress?
If I'm handling the stress well, I go for a walk or run. If I'm not handling it well, I eat chocolate!

What are the most important qualities of a strong school leader?
Being a compassionate listener and having knowledge of sound instructional practice. I believe in the power of education to change lives, but it cannot be done alone. I have a great deal of respect for the expertise of teachers, and I believe in empowering them to help steer the course of the school.