To improve as a leader one must first improve oneself. Reflecting on the fall semester as an Onward Leader allows me to appreciate my journey and growth as a leader, teacher and a person. All three facets are critical to the success of any would-be principal. The program director brings over 40 years of real-world experience to the table. She graciously shares this priceless information in hopes of spurring our development. This is coupled with a mentor principal that permits me to gain confidence by receiving crucial on-the-job training. This two-tiered support system grants deep dive discussions that further enhances the learning experience. This invaluable program ultimately develops my hard and soft skills. This approach allows me to create a positive school culture that supports the students, teachers and community through faith, excellence and stewardship.
A principal’s job is to foster a welcoming Catholic school environment that bolsters the growth of our students academically and spiritually. Faith is critical to the success of any school. Without faith, nothing is possible. Therefore, I must have and show faith. Faith must permeate the entire school through its mission, its teachers and its students. This will allow the school to foster a safe environment where students can continue their faith formation and grow closer to God. This is accomplished through the sacraments, prayer, fellowship and service.
Next, I must focus on educating every student. The school must prepare each student for high school and college through a rigorous curriculum. This is accomplished through the use of technology, collaboration and cutting edge teaching strategies. This challenging approach will prepare each student to be a well rounded, 21st century problem solver.
Finally, I must focus on stewardship. The school must have solid business practices, a balanced budget, and growing enrollment. Therefore, I must have the basic necessary knowledge and skills in place to effectively and efficiently oversee all facets of the school’s day-to-day operations- a Herculean task to be sure.
The Onward Leaders program has allowed me to grow personally and professionally. This growth equips me with a tool belt full of experiences and resources to meet any challenge. It also gives me the confidence to overcome any future challenges that may arise. Through faith, humility and grit, I can help create an environment where children are happy to learn and grow both academically and spiritually.