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Monday, March 3, 2014


On February 8, 2014, I was once again blessed to have gotten to participate in the University of Texas at Austin Principalship Program (UTAPP) Assessment Center.  Each February a team of professors, former students of the UTAPP, and invited exemplary practitioners gather to put 20 or so prospective candidates for the program through a day of tasks and demonstrations to assess their readiness to pursue a career as a school principal.

There are several things I LOVE about this day:
  • Getting to see/hear bright young educators who want to change the world through service as school principals.
  • Having my own thinking and skills challenged by both the practitioners who serve on the assessment team and the prospective candidates themselves.
  • Catching up with so many of my former students in the UTAPP and hearing of their successes (and a few failures) in the work of the principalship.
  • Rubbing elbows and exchanging ideas with some of the finest veteran principals and principalship professors I know.
  • Taking significant collective action in improving the profession of the principalship through serving in this process.
Of all the jobs I’ve held over the years, none has been tougher than that of being a school principal.  I am always humbled and grateful when talented and intelligent folks choose that career path.  

I have seen a LOT of schools over the years, both good and bad.  I’ve never seen a school with a strong and student-centered principal at the helm NOT get better (regardless of its current status).  The essence of the principalship is centered on LEARNING - pretty nice centerpiece for a career and for service.

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