“Your Best Moment as a School Leader?” This October, we asked members: “Reflecting back, what was your best moment as a school leader?” Below are some of the amazing answers we received.
“The first day of in-person learning, when the bell rang our students were RUNNING to get into the school. I couldn’t stop crying. They missed it so much and we missed them so much!”
Bethany Morris
Assistant Principal, Washington Elementary, Sunnyside SD
“Planning, organizing, and incorporating a Freshman (only) Orientation (Link Crew) to a high school that before my arrival did not have a Freshman only Orientation day. Without Link Crew trained staff, I led the assembly and organized the day based on my own Link Crew training. It was awesome! It instantly changed how the freshmen entered the building on the first day of school! And it changed the school overall as we moved forward with having staff trained to continue Link Crew as one way to welcome and transition freshmen into high school.”
Becky McKibbin Porter
Assistant Principal, Voyager Middle, Mukilteo SD
“My favorite and most successful moments are invisible to me...I love knowing that students and staff walk away from our interactions with things to think about. I'm a terrible gardener in the real world but I plant seeds at school all day, every day.”
DeAnna Groves Wilson
Assistant Principal, Marysville Getchell High, Marysville SD
“We had a student who struggled with emotions and academics. He also had several teachers who understood who he was as a unique person and student, but were still committed to holding him to achieving expectations. He was allowed to take some time out at needed times. He was sometimes allowed to test in non-conventional ways. Finally, he graduated! To see his face at graduation and to speak to his mom made me realize why we do what we do. He is now doing very well and is in training to work in a specialized trade. He has visited us this year and to see his appreciation for his teachers is a truly special thing.”
Nick Greenwell
Principal, North Thurston High, North Thurston PS
“Holding a restorative conversation between parents, one of which was Russian and the other Hispanic. The parents' students were at odds with one another and had racist exchanges that verbally hurt each other but ultimately these exchanges became physical. I asked both parents to meet to discuss the situations, they agreed. We ended the conversations with tears and joy. These families were vulnerable and willing to be part of a difficult conversation about their students experiencing bullying. At the end of the day, these moms realized they sadly, weren’t alone. I will never forget the hugs (pre-COVID-19) and the heartfelt love and compassion shared that day. This day has shaped me to always put communication with my families at the forefront and take the time to hear their voices loud and clear. We all all in this together.”
Michelle Crowston
Assistant Principal, Covington Middle, Evergreen PS
“My proudest moment as a leader was watching my school embrace a new self-contained special education program in our building. They have exceeded all my expectations in having it be an integrated part of our community.”
Ryan Henderson
Principal, Highland Elementary, Lake Stevens SD
“My favorite and most successful moment is taking a fully self-contained student (for the last three years), integrating him in with a specialist, then slowly with his peers in core. I started this in January of 2021 and by the end of school he no longer was self-contained. He is now in our middle school, just like his peers, but he is doing it and has no violent interactions and has had very few bumps in his day. I’ve started the same process with a fourth-grader and it is also going well.”
Jennifer Godinho-Hefley
Principal, Castle Rock Intermediate, Castle Rock SD
“One of my best moments this past year as a principal was watching my students graduate! Not only was it one of the first in-person events in our community but it was graduation magic! Many of the students have been 'mine' since they entered kindergarten and to be there as they walked across the stage was AMAZING. #givethemhope”
Cindy Sholtys-Cromwell
Principal, Kelso Virtual Academy, Kelso SD
“Best moment was graduation last year. First of all, it was in person! One of our former highly capable, but highly anxiety-ridden middle schoolers walked across the stage to receive his diploma. It might not seem like a big deal, but while in middle school he rarely attended class and could be found on the floor wailing and writhing due to the home trauma he was experiencing. After the ceremony, he told me he was working for Amazon. I couldn't be more proud of him!”
Erika Burden
Principal, Westwood Middle, Cheney PS
“Having all kids every day!”
Brent Osborn
Principal, Lakeside High, Nine Mile Falls SD
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Association of Washington School Principals
Washington Principal | Volume 1– 2021-22