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Spotlight on Principals for National Principals Month

National Principals Month is a time for parents, students, teachers, staff, and local communities to honor public school principals for their tireless leadership.

What Is National Principals Month?

Every October we celebrate National Principals Month. National Principals Month is a collaboration between the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), and the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA).

Michelle McCoy NEISD

Principal Michelle McCoy

Harmony Hills Elementary – North East ISD

“Mrs. McCoy is such a strong leader because she sets an example herself of hard work and excellence. She is very organized and great about asking questions that help others plan, but she also allows the staff autonomy and gives them space to be creative and make it their own.”

“Mrs McCoy is making a huge difference in our school by encouraging and celebrating the growth students are making along the way. With every goal met or progress made, the staff, led by Mrs. McCoy,  cheer them on and recognize their achievements! This positive attitude is contagious and is also displayed by the teachers and staff. It’s a very positive atmosphere!”

Jenny Schweers

Dr. Geri Berger

Brandeis High School – Northside ISD 

“Having a principal/leadership that cares and puts full effort DAILY into creating positive, lasting relationships with her students, staff, and parents is just part of what makes her a SUPERSTAR principal!”

–  Roxie, RootEd and Brandeis HS parent

Dr. Geri Berger Brandeis HS

School Principal Responsibilities

School principals are the academic, administrative, and social-emotional leaders of a school. They establish a school’s priorities and sense of community.

Principals have overall responsibility for a school’s curriculum, teachers, health, nutrition, cleanliness, safety, and discipline policies and procedures.  They are involved in the school’s planning, budgeting, and purchasing.  They play an important role in interactions between students, parents, and the community. Principals make hundreds of daily decisions to assure a smooth, safe school operation.  Principals are usually the first to arrive and last to leave their schools each day.

Harlandale principal

Griselda Raley

Wright Elementary –  Harlandale ISD 

“Ms. Raley has provided the students of Wright Elementary with more than academic experiences. She constantly finds ways to bring our community into our campus. These real-world experiences have made an enormous impact on our student population. Ms. Raley will stop at nothing to bring a smile to the student’s faces.”

Samantha Santos

What makes a great school principal?

Great principals create learning-centered environments with high student achievement.  Their teachers and staff enjoy their work and do it well.  The parents and local community trust that their schools are well run.  (Go Public/ Clear Creek ISD Ask Former Trustees)

Catherine Leach Principal

Catherine Leach

Wetmore Elementary –  North East ISD

“Catherine exhibits so many leadership qualities that guide our school on a daily basis. I can connect it to being a line leader. When someone is responsible for leading the way, it means that others will follow them. It means that they model what is expected and the rest use that as their guide. It means they have awareness of their surroundings. It means that they know the destination and the route to take in getting there. It means that they protect the rest of the line. It means that they are trusted by an authority figure to tend to the group.”

Jennifer Korzekwa

Stacey Winton

Oak Hills Terrace Elementary –  Northside ISD

“Ms. Winton responds to all situations with leadership and laughter.  Her family-first attitude makes her an incredible leader. Ms. Winton always puts the students, staff, and community front and center. She is continually working to create positive relationships with our most at-risk students and their families.”

Sarah Aguirre- Lead Rooted Rep

Stacey Winton

A Day in the Life of a School Principal

Jaclyn Borowski, Denisa R. Superville, Hyon-Young Kim, and Lisa Krantz for Education Week highlight a busy day of Northside ISD principal, Manuela Haberer in their articles:

Hour by Busy Hour: What a Principal’s Day Actually Looks Like

What School Leadership Looks Like: A Day in the Life of a Principal

Principals are BUSY!!!

Principal Manuela Haberer of Boone Elementary School in Northside ISD says “I live by the belief that the better I can schedule the predictable and proactively plan by staying ahead of events and deadlines, the better I can handle the other things that land on my lap surprisingly.”


Principal Haberer recorded a day in her life for the article Ed Week- A Principal’s Day- Hour by Hour:

5:00 Set intention for the day. Reflect on goals.

5:10 Check emails for notices and staff that will be out for the day.

5:15 Get ready for the day, call associate principal and secretary regarding daily events and staffing changes.

6:30 Travel with son to campus.

6:50 Arrive on campus.

7:00-7:40 Welcome kids and staff as they arrive.

7:40 Stop by teachers lounge, thank PTA volunteers and community partners that brought treats for teachers.

7:45 Morning announcements with a group of students.

7:45-8:00 Review legal paperwork regarding a student’s custody and confirm with other parent. 

8:00-9:00 Virtual meeting regarding HB 4545 for students who were not successful on state standardized tests.

9:00-10:00 Meeting with associate principal on HB 4545 plan. 

10:05-11:05 IEP/ARD meeting.

11:10-11:45 Check in with special education unit teacher and assistant and observe the classroom for children with autism. 

11:45-11:55 Check in with college-aged daughter on upcoming transfer and college recruiting.

12:15-1:00 IEP/ARD meeting.

1:00-1:15 Eat lunch.

1:15-2:15 IEP/ARD meeting.

2:15-2:40 View 5th grade artwork- replicas of America’s National Monuments.

2:40-3:00 Meet with secretary regarding Teacher Appreciation lunch logistics.

3:00-3:10 Parent phone call regarding chapparoning field trip.

3:10-3:30 Dismissal and parent pick up.

3:35-4:00 Response to Intervention meeting with parent, counselor, teacher, and academic specialist.

4:30-5:30 Coaching call for professional learning and growth program.

6:00-8:00 PTA District Council meeting.

8:10-9:45 Dinner with assistant principal, associate principal, and administrator colleague.

10:10 Arrive home, catch up and schedule the next day with husband. Shower, prep for the STAAR Wars pep rally the following morning, and bedtime.

And a final shout-out to Principal Fernanda Ruiz of Ed White Middle School in NEISD, from Adonis Schurmann…

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