Author: William Parker

When I was in junior high school, everyone on my basketball team wore Converse high-tops. Yes, that means I’m officially from the 70’s! I’ll never forget mine: They were the color of golden-rod, and I was so proud of them that I never wore them outside the gym because I didn’t want to scuff them up. […]

Read More PMP:Encore090 Branding Your School with Marlena Gross-Taylor

A few years ago, we had a lockdown drill at the high school where I was principal. Local police had called to say they were aware of a potential threat against our school on social media. They were locating the person of interest in a location outside the school community but wanted us to lockdown […]

Read More PMP155: Parenting as Principals – Do’s and Don’ts, Part 2

Oklahoma has experienced its share of storms and severe weather this spring. The other day, our family was sitting in our storm closet as sirens were sounding at 6:30AM. Afterwards, I was driving my seventh-grade son, Jack, to school. As we approached the school, I began to predict how his principals would manage the morning. […]

Read More PMP154: Parenting as Principals – Do’s and Don’ts, Part 1

When Principal Jen Schwanke was talking to one of her teachers about the importance of balance, her teacher asked an honest question. “Why should I do this when you don’t?”  Jen realized then that she had been modeling bad habits for her teachers. For instance, when she sent emails to teachers at 10:00 PM, she […]

Read More PMP153: Maintaining Balance and Focusing on What Matters, Part 2

We just celebrated Mother’s Day. This time of year is a good reminder that our families play such an important role in our lives outside of school. No matter how many principals I visit, one conversation comes up often: how to maintain balance and stay focused on what matters even while leading a school. Although […]

Read More PMP152: Maintaining Balance and Staying Focused on What Matters

Several weeks ago, I had the privilege of visiting Norman High School, in Norman, Oklahoma. Dr. Scott Beck was recently named Oklahoma’s High School Principal of the Year, and I wanted to touch-base with him and tour his school. From the moment I entered the building until I left, I was impressed – not just […]

Read More PMP151: Hiring & Retaining High Quality Teachers, Part 2

Recently, the teachers at Indian Run Elementary, in Dublin, Ohio, organized a “Flash TACO bar” – a spontaneous buffet meal where they shared great food and fun together. As principal of the school, Jen Schwanke reflects on the joy and creativity of her teachers: they not only love teaching but they also enjoy working together. […]

Read More PMP:150 Hiring High Quality Educators, Part 1

A few years ago, I sat across my desk from a student whose father had abandoned him and left the state. A family in our community had taken in the young man, and our school had been in contact with the Department of Human Services on what to do next. That morning I had been […]

Read More PMPEncore109: The Power of One Caring Adult with Josh Shipp

Spring time is here, and the landscape is green with new growth. Ironically, my wife told me that by the spring of each school year, she has decided that our marriage is falling apart, our kids all need counseling, and we have chosen to the wrong places to live, work, etc.   In other words, […]

Read More PMP: 149 Managing Adult Conflicts, Part 2

One of the biggest surprises for new school leaders is the often unexpected but frequent conflicts that arise with adults. Whether you are encountering conflicts with parents, colleagues or community members, these situations can be difficult to manage. Even experienced principals will tell you that managing conflicts is one of their most challenging but important […]

Read More PMP:148 Managing Adult Conflict

When you think about providing professional development, do you feel stressed or excited? For many principals, providing professional development can be a daunting task. The good news is that professional development can become something that is meaningful and enjoyable when you realize you no longer have to be the expert. Instead, together with your school […]

Read More PMP:147 Providing Focused Professional Development

Have you ever felt overwhelmed in trying to balance priorities? If you’re like me, you can probably think of more than once where student discipline, parent concerns, and teacher feedback provided you more tasks than you could complete in a day. No matter whether you are a new principal or a veteran leader, here’s a […]

Read More PMP:146 Good Habits for Balancing Priorities

When is the last time you heard the following words? “We do what’s best for kids.” Of course, we want school leaders to do what is best for students. But we also want to provide a place where adults feels supported and encouraged in bringing joy to students. Those priorities are not in opposition to […]

Read More PMP:145 Promoting a Culture of Trust – Part 2

Cultivating a positive school culture is a lot like tending a garden. When you have tilled the soil, pulled the weeds, and watered your plants, your work is not finished. You will need to take the same steps again soon in order to keep a healthy environment for growth. School culture requires the same care. […]

Read More PMP:144 Building and Maintaining Positive School Culture

When Garth Larson was asked to move from secondary administration to become an elementary principal, he was curious if he could be an effective leader at that level. But his work in early-education combined with his years in secondary education gave him a unique perspective of the K-12 experience. Later, when he moved into a […]

Read More PMP:143 Learning for ALL with Dr. Garth Larson

It’s that time of year again for hiring and job searches! Whether you are conducting an interview or being interviewed, I have found some common expectations anyone should have when walking into an education interview. If you are looking for sample questions specific to principal interviews, let me encourage you to check out the post, […]

Read More PMP:Encore027 Ten Tips for Interviewing for an Education Opening

Next week, I have the privilege of gathering together with educators and school leaders for a Leadership & Learning Conference in Norman, Oklahoma. Guest speakers Jeff Zoul, Jack Berckemeyer, and Christine Handy will be on hand to share best practices. I’m looking forward to circling up with other educators who enjoy being life-long learners. Gearing […]

Read More PMP:Encore079 Whose Permission Are You Waiting For?