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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 Julie Ann Brilli

Your school:
Pulaski Community Middle School, a 6-8 school in Pulaski, Wisconsin (827 students)

Education experience:
I spent four years as classroom teacher, three years as an associate principal, two years as an elementary principal, and this year (2003-04) will be my sixth year as a middle school principal.

What's the first thing you do when you get to work in the morning?
I get into the hallways to see the teachers and the children. That is the best way to start the day!

What is your education motto?
We are here to serve others. We will work to ensure that all children are provided the opportunity to grow socially, emotionally, academically, and spiritually.

If you have a bad day, what is it that gets you out the door and off to work then next morning?
Being surrounded by caring, compassionate adults and energetic, enthusiastic children while I am at school makes it much easier to face the day.

What does your work contribute to society?
I believe that educators have one of the noblest professions. We have the opportunity to make an impact in the lives of our children, and the subsequent quality of their lives. What could be more rewarding!

What do you do to relieve stress?
I have two children of my own. I spend quality time with them, focused on meeting their needs and enjoying every minute of it.

What is the most important quality of a strong school leader?
A strong school leader must be driven by moral purpose. She or he must be courageous enough to do what is right, always, for the children. At times those decisions can be controversial; however, it is critical that the welfare of the children drive every decision.

How do you motivate your staff to go above-and-beyond?
I rely heavily on the expertise of my staff. The teachers know they are valued for their skills, knowledge, and ability to make good decisions. Any new initiatives involve the teachers, and depend on the teachers for their success. They have never let me down.

What other thoughts would you like to share?
Today, more than ever, we have the potential to make a difference in education. As we push forward in this age of accountability, we will likely see major changes in the way education is delivered. We understand better than ever the physiological aspect of learning, and will continue to be challenged as we apply that new knowledge in our classrooms.