As part of the blog series celebrating National Principals Month, I asked principals to share some memorable quotes—those they share with others, those that are meaningful to them, and quotes from students or staff. I received an eclectic set of responses!
- True Story: Several years ago, my staff and I learned we were going to receive a mid-year transfer student, a young man who had attended his previous schools somewhat sporadically. Prior to his enrollment, our staff and I brainstormed ideas to help promote his strong attendance. When the student arrived, he seemed very excited about our school and asked many positive and appropriate questions of his counselor. Before heading off to his first class, he asked the counselor, “Who’s the ‘big cheese’ around here?” She confirmed he meant our principal, and she summoned me to her office, where I greeted the student. She introduced him to me, referring to me as the “big cheese.” He scanned me up and down, and after a pause he said, “You’re not what I expected.” When I asked, “How so?” he replied, “I thought you’d have more hair.”
- I find that I often advise students to "Use their powers for good!"
- A few years ago, a little girl in kindergarten came up to me when I was in the cafeteria. She said in a super excited voice, “I know who you are! I know who you are!!” and, of course, I asked, “Who am I?” She replied with a big smile, “You are the princess of the school!” and, of course, I replied, “Yes, I am!”
- A teacher had her students write letters to me on the topic “What does a principal do all day?” One student’s letter really made me chuckle. The student said, “She shops on Amazon all day with her credit card buying cool stuff for our school!”
- Simon Sinek said, “Leadership isn’t taking charge; it is taking care of the people in your charge.” With all that people do as school principals, there is probably nothing more important than just being a good listener and looking out for the people you work with when they are struggling with aspects of their lives that may have nothing to do with school, as we all inevitably do. It makes a huge difference to have a leader who reminds you that you have to take care of your family and yourself before you can take care of everything else that your job demands of you. I have benefited from working with many great people who made sure this was understood in their leadership, no matter what their title.
Thank you to all of our amazing principals! You deserve to be celebrated!