Tag: Principal matters

As a practicing principal, I need to be practicing. And as much as I enjoy writing, speaking or presenting about school leadership, my primary responsibility as a school leader is serving my school. So this past summer, I was thrilled when Vickie Williams, the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Association of Secondary Principals asked me to […]

Read More Brunch & Learn Webinars

Last weekend I traveled with my son, Jack, and his Cub Scout pack to a joint campout with an older Boy Scout troop. It was a perfect October weekend: 70’s with sun and breeze; evening temperatures in the 50’s—cold enough that a sleeping bag was the perfect cocoon for tent sleeping. Although Jack and I […]

Read More Becoming Better: How You Influence Growth

I know a lot of school have creative ways to celebrate the positive behaviors they want students showing on a daily basis. This school year, our student council and their sponsor, Ms. Franklin, launched plans to award a Class Cup to the grade of students who show the most participation in good deeds and school […]

Read More PMP:038 Celebrating Good Deeds with a Class Cup

Last week I left school early so that I could watch our cross-country teams run at a local race. It was one of those days where the sun and clouds kept alternating in the sky. My oldest daughter, Emily ran in the first race. When it ended, clouds moved in and a heavy shower began […]

Read More PMP:037 Are You Growing? Learning to Celebrate the Small Wins

I remember when my daughter began taking clarinet lessons from a private tutor in junior high. When I picked her up from her first session, she said, “I have been playing for three years, but I learned today that I wasn’t putting the mouth piece in far enough. That one tip has helped me hit […]

Read More PMP:035 Are You Growing? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

I once knew a teaching couple who told me a funny story. They lived right across the street from a man who never seemed to go to work. During their breaks from school, the neighbor always seemed to be home; they would usually see him in cut-offs, working in his yard. They began to suspect […]

Read More PMP:034 Six Ways to Avoid Making Wrong Calls

When I was a junior high student, I remember feeling pretty clueless about what to expect in high school. Sometimes my teachers would tell me to expect to be treated like a number. At other times, they would warn us that if we were unprepared, we could expect a dismal future. Over the years, I’ve […]

Read More PMP:033 What Motivates Your Learning? A Better Alternative…

Today’s episode is in response to a listener question, “How can we create a sense of ownership for students into today’s education system?” Although answering this question could be very long, let me ask three questions connected to mindsets I believe are important for any school: 1. As a school leader, how have you envisioned […]

Read More PMP:031 Creating a Sense of Ownership for Students

Earlier this school year, I had a long conversation with a student who had been abandoned. He was fourteen years old. His biological mother was not in his life. A guardian had adopted him, but when she had difficulty with him, she had convinced his biological father to take him back. Now the dad was […]

Read More One Caring Adult Can Make a Difference

Jack is a middle school student who is found in possession of something dangerous at school. His assistant principal guides his parents and Jack through disciplinary actions based on school policy, which may include temporary or long-term removal from the school setting while still receiving educational services. Jill is a middle school found in possession […]

Read More Caught in the Middle: Policy, Principals and Practice

On June 21-22, 2016, the National Association of Secondary Principals hosted its Advocacy Conference for members in Washington, D.C. Principals and school leaders from across America received updates and heard presentations from experts in advocacy, leadership, and federal policies that affect schools. As State Coordinator for NASSP, I joined Clay McDonald, Middle School Principal from […]

Read More NASSP Advocacy Conference Update

When I was a teenager, I was splitting logs for our woodpile when I couldn’t find the familiar wedge I normally used. Looking around I spotted an old axe head and decided it would have to do. Placing it into a good crack in the end of a large log, I knocked the axe head […]

Read More Confronting the Brutal Facts

The Apollo 13 mission is one of my favorite stories of endurance.

Image Source: AlanBeanGallery.com
Image Source: AlanBeanGallery.com

On April 11, 1970 when Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise set off for their mission to the moon at speeds equivalent to 20,000 mph, they had entered a realm of record-breaking proportions.

When they were approximately 205,000 miles away from Earth, an oxygen tank exploded, and their mission to moon was immediately transformed to one of survival. Read More Remembering Apollo 13: Overcoming the Insurmountable

I know a lot of people who love Chick-fil-A because of the quality of their food and service.
If you’ve eaten there, you know how friendly they are to customers, you’ve seen the fresh flowers on the tables, and you know how much better their chicken tastes than other fast food options.

As a school leader, it is easy to forget how lessons in marketing, public relations, or customer service also improve school climates. A couple of weeks ago, our district leadership team sat down with a Public Relations consultant, Jeremy C. Burton, who manages PR at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

ORU has seen an upward surge in enrollment, ehancements, and development over the past few years, and positive PR has been played an important role for promoting their brand. I wanted to pass along four points Burton made in his talk and add some of my own comments along the way. Read More Importance of Public Relations for School Leaders: 4 Tips

30 Questions from Principal Interviews by William D. Parker was published originally at www.williamdparker.com on March 25, 2015.

A few weeks ago, some fellow administrators and I presented to an awesome group of teachers who are preparing to become admins. A great follow-up question was: “What kinds of questions can I expect in an interview for assistant principal or principal?”

cc: Tim Gouw – https://unsplash.com/@punttim?utm_source=haikudeck&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=api-credit

I can speak from my own experience, but I will also share a resource at the end of this post and invite input from other admins.

First of all, a little history…or the story of 6 interviews:

Interview 1

cc: Ben White – https://unsplash.com/@benwhitephotography?utm_source=haikudeck&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=api-credit

Although I have participated in over a hundred interviews to hire teachers and staff over the past ten years, I have been interviewed for administrator openings only six times. Three of those resulted in offers I filled–two as assistant principal (two different sites) and one as principal (current position). So the best examples I have for aspiring principals are the thirty questions I will share below. Read More 30 Questions From Principal Interviews (Plus More)

If you are like me, you want school leadership to be about inspiring or encouraging others to reach shared goals. So often, motivational leadership also requires managing complicated situations or people.


Over the years, I have begun to learn practical skills in dealing with people who are upset, angry, or just plain mean.

I don’t always do it correctly, but I believe with practice, anyone can learn to maximize the potential of finding solutions in conflicts.

Whether you face challenging people on a daily basis, or only occasionally, here are some tips I have learned from my own experience as well as watching others who consistently manage difficult people: Read More 6 Tips on Dealing With Difficult People

We have a student who is an orphan at my school. She struggles with so many emotions and doesn’t always make the best decisions–even though she still makes me proud…

Read More Purpose Motivated Leadership