Michigan School Boards Recognize National Principal's Month
Written by Kathy Hayes, Executive Director, Michigan Association of School Boards
National Principal’s Month is a great opportunity for the Michigan Association of School Boards to honor and recognize the outstanding leadership that principals demonstrate every day. With the growing emphasis on higher standards and greater accountability, research clearly shows that the principal is a pivotal player in elevating student achievement. No longer do principals simply manage a building with its daily operational routines or oversee student discipline problems; they also have the critical job of raising test scores, refining teachers’ skills and making sure students learn in a safe, nurturing environment. Without effective principals, the national goal we’ve set of transforming failing schools would be next to impossible to achieve.
Principals are among the hardest working, yet often least recognized, individuals in education. It’s through their vision, dedication and determination that a community culture is established that values learning and the free exchange of information and ideas. Principals know first-hand that to be effective leaders, they must invest in the professional development of their teachers and provide opportunities for teachers to work, plan and think together. They must establish student-centered buildings where teachers are attuned to the individual needs of students and know how to help every student fulfill his or her potential. And finally, principals must establish an atmosphere where parents feel welcome and confident that their students are part of a safe and healthy learning environment.
Has there ever been a great school without a great principal? I don’t think so. As board members, we need to recognize the many additional responsibilities principals have assumed that are critical to the school reform effort and provide them with the support they need to succeed. We need to acknowledge the challenging job they have and regularly tell them how much we appreciate the work they do in pursuit of excellence in education.
On behalf of all the school boards in Michigan, MASB thanks principals around the country for their tremendous dedication and commitment to the education of our youth. You’re truly our unsung heroes!