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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 Jed Landsman-Yakin


Image Your school:
Belfry High School, a K-12 school in Belfry, Montana [about 60 miles from Yellowstone Park], 122 students.

Your education experience:
I was a classroom teacher for 28 years. I have been principal/athletic director for five years.

How did you get your current job?
I wanted change in our system. I had to earn the credibility, so I went back to grad school and campaigned for this position.

What's the first thing you do when you get to work in the morning?
I make coffee and turn on the copy machine. Actually, those are two strokes for my best helpers -- the secretaries.

What is the biggest challenge you face this school year?
Learning to say "no."

What is your education mantra?
Every student has the right to learn!

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?
Someone who needs me is going to walk into my office. I must be there!

What does your work contribute to society?
I know that my efforts have influenced students to become productive and positive members of a very independent society [Montana]. I help mold people who care about their neighbors.

If you could have a different career, what would that be?
I would be a fishing guide in the wilderness.

What keeps you going?
I am in my 50s but I feel like a teenager most of the time. I am full of energy, and I share that energy with the students and the adults I spend my life with. I don't just care about my job; I love my job. I look forward to going to work every day. There are special people that make my job worth doing and my life worth living.