NASSP principals institute

Swapping Coins and Talking Choice with Betsy DeVos

Guest post by Tom Dodd

It was an honor to help facilitate the 2017 NASSP National Principals Institute, assist with Principal of the Year finalist interviews, and attend the awards ceremony. It brought back great memories of last year’s Institute, the outstanding leaders I was surrounded by, and my own surprise announcement as the 2017 National Principal of the Year.

It also gave me a chance to create new memories. I caught up with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos as she left the awards ceremony after delivering her comments to the State Principals of the Year. I reintroduced myself and gave her one of my gold challenge coins. The secretary’s confidential assistant offered her coin in return, accompanied by the potential of an audience with the secretary the following morning. (I offered to bring Secretary DeVos a pumpkin spice latte if she could make it happen, my treat!) (more…)

What I Learned in D.C.: Advocacy Matters

Guest post by Steve Carlson

A principal has many things to do—too many, in fact. This makes prioritizing crucial.
It can also mean that we also sometimes neglect things that just don’t have the urgency of a student crisis, a concerned parent, or a homecoming dance. But as I expand my personal learning network (PLN) I have increasingly come to realize that advocacy for education is something to which I needed to devote more energy. It’s important that we not only recognize the important work of principals but remember that advocacy—for our students and our schools—is part of that important work. (more…)