Tomorrow, Oct. 1, marks the beginning of National Principals Month. That’s right, an entire month devoted to showcasing the life-changing work of school principals and assistant principals. Building leaders play one of the most important roles in our education system. In fact, we would argue that principals play the most important role. Former Governor Gregoire said it best to me one day when she said, “Scott, show me a great principal and I’ll show you a great school. Show me a great school and I’ll show you a great principal.”
Well, she was right then, and her statement holds true now. For schools to be successful they must have a highly effective leader who commits long-term to the establishment of a positive school culture, equitable systems for all students, and ongoing reflective learning practices for everyone in the system. School change takes time and the visionary leadership of a principal. A principal sets the culture, builds the systems to support that culture, and leads the learning for everyone. It all starts with the principal.
Some of the greatest examples of highly effective schools we see across the state and country can be directly attributed to the leadership of the school principal. We can’t say it enough, but your leadership matters. Your passion, energy, enthusiasm, vision, commitment, and unconditional love for each and every student matters.
You are a beacon of hope for your entire school community. And, if there has ever been a time in our history where hope is essential, it is now. Don’t ever underestimate the power and influence of your leadership, nor the hope that you can breathe into the lives of both your students and your staffulty.
As your professional association, you can count on us to continue shining a bright light on the life-changing work of principals and assistant principals throughout and beyond this October’s National Principals Month. The world needs to know about your incredibly hard, yet amazingly rewarding work. AWSP will sing it from the mountain tops!
Thank you for making a difference. Thank you for changing lives. Thank you for continuing to lead hope in our state.