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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 Ernest Elliott


ImageYour school:
Mountain Home Junior High School, an 8-9 school in Mountain Home, Idaho (650 students).

Number of years in that position:
This is my first year at Mountain Home Junior High School.

Your education experience:
I was a classroom teacher for ten years, an assistant principal for four years, a high school principal for two years, an elementary school principal for four years, and a middle school principal at another school in Mountain Home prior to taking this job.

What is your education motto/mantra/mission?
Our task is to provide an education for the kinds of kids we have -- not the kinds of kids we used to have or want to have or the kind who exist in our dreams.

What is an unforgivable trait in a colleague?
Not having enough time for the individual needs of a student.

Who or what most influenced your decision to become an educator?
I had great teachers when I was young and needed guidance and an anchor in my life.

What do you do to relieve stress?
I spend time with my wife and my own six children.

If you could have a different career, what would that be?
Writing quality books for young adults to read.

To what extent will you go to make school more interesting and rewarding for kids?
I am an off-the-wall person. There is no limit. I have dressed up in a chicken suit and danced on the roof of the school when students reached a building goal. I have 36 pair of Air Jordan basketball shoes that I rotate on a daily basis. When kids see me in the hall, they first look at my shoes to see what I am wearing. If my wife won't let me out of the house unless I have on a pair of dress shoes, I change into some Air Jordan's that I keep at work.