October is National Principals Month

Deb Henton

It may have slipped your attention that October is National Principals Month, but it should not go unnoticed – especially here at North Branch Area Public Schools.

I would happily put our staff of principals and assistant principals against any staff in the state and be confident they would shine, just as they do each day right here.

People don’t generally appreciate the challenges and issues that principals face everyday. They are managers, inspirational leaders, friends, counselors, accountants and so much more.

They provide leadership to staff and students and face multiple decisions everyday of a kind many would prefer not to consider.

They set the tone for reaching high, and spend a great deal of time evaluating teacher performance and student achievement.

They demand professionalism from themselves in all things and know that treating others with respect doesn’t end when they leave their buildings at the end of the day. It is true that you are a principal 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In North Branch, our principals face very tough decisions each spring as they try to determine how best to provide and even increase services in the face of shrinking budgets.

As has happened too often in my tenure here, they are sometimes called upon to be emotional leaders during times of great tragedy.

When I think about the quality of people we have leading our schools, the phrase “answer the bell” comes to mind. No matter what duties fall to them, no matter the depth of the issue that comes across their desks, they answer the bell with professionalism and grace.

On top of inspiring the children and adults they oversee on a daily basis, they also inspire me. I couldn’t be more thankful for their presence. If you see one of our principals or assistant principals around town this month, please take a moment to thank them for all they do on behalf of the community’s children.

Deb Henton is the superintendent of North Branch Area Schools

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