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Each week, Education World profiles a different school principal or assistant principal. His or her responses offer insight into what a school administrator's day is like and the special challenges school leaders face.


Principal Profile: All About Terry Ross


Terry RossYour School:
Kenneth D. Black Elementary School, a K-4 school in Houston, Texas (700 students)

How did you get your current job?
I was the assistant principal for three years at Black Elementary. When our principal took over a district magnet school, I was promoted to my current position.

What is the biggest challenge you face this school year?
We had a key member of our administrative team pass away suddenly. Her death ripped a hole in all of our hearts. Not only was she a dear friend and an inspiration to us all, but she was also a key member in our intervention plans for our at-risk students.

What is your education mission?
My mission is to build an organization that provides the best atmosphere for success for students, parents, staff, and the community. Success is not just defined by scores on a report or queries of a database, but by how many kids return to say thanks to their favorite teachers.

If you have a bad day, what is it that gets you out the door and off to work then next morning?
I know that when I get to school, I can visit a classroom and experience a super lesson, talk to a parent who expresses thanks for our school or for help solving a problem, get a hug from someone who treats me like a rock star, or read a letter from a colleague who shares a needed thought.

What does your work contribute to society?
We work diligently to provide a safe haven that fills in cognitive gaps caused by mobility or poverty. We also work to provide an environment that stimulates the intellect, nurtures the humanity, protects the innocence, and provides memories filled with warmth, fun, and love.

What else would you like to share about being a principal?
A wise man once told me that teachers are to administrators as students are to teachers. The more experience I have in this position, the more I agree with him. Just as the growth of my students inspired me as a teacher, the development of my teachers inspires me as a principal.