Moms Talk Q&A: The Role of Principals

With new principals scheduled to take the reins at two Kirkwood schools in July, we take a minute to discuss the qualities we seek in those who step into the post.

Two Kirkwood principals, , of (KHS), and , of Tillman Elementary School, will be leaving their positions at the end of the school year.

Holley is retiring from the KHS after serving as an educator at the school for the past 30 years, the last 10 of which he served as principal. Raeker will leave Tillman Elementary School at the end of the school year to step into her new position as the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

The Kirkwood School Board accepted Superintendent Tom Williams' recommendation for to take over as principal of KHS at its . At the board's next meeting, to be held Monday, Williams will recommend for the position of principal at Tillman Elementary School. Greenstein currently serves as principal of Parkway School District's Ross Elementary School.

So onto this week's question: What role should a principal play in a child's life?

Jaime Tilly: I have kids ages 6 and 8, so I can only speak from an elementary perspective. I believe principals should be disciplinarians, along with mentors. They should be good mediators when conflicts arise. It is important for a principal to wear many hats with the teaching staff, students and parents each day.

Pamela Debandt: Principals at every educational level should wear a number of hats: disciplinarian, leader and cheerleader (of all constituents: faculty, students and parents) at their school. By serving in these roles, the principal will earn the respect deserving of their position. When children see a people of authority in these roles, children is likely to look up to them and work hard to please them. Additionally, principals should empower the staff to create a stimulating learning environment, listen to parent's concerns and attend most school events.

Editor's Note: We are searching for residents to join our parenting council. Please email owen.skoler@patch.com if you're interested in joining or would like to find out more information about the parenting council.


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