A Principled Principal: 12 Life Lessons I Have Learned About Principled Leadership!

The role of the school principal has become more complexed and demanding in recent years. Where once, the site administrator was viewed as no more than a building manager, the numerous tasks of the principal can now range from monitoring daily attendance of the students and staff, to mediating and advocating for at-risk students and their families. Few would disagree, for example, that at least part of the reason administrative vacancies are growing has to do with unrealistic working conditions. Nearly half of new principals leave their schools after three years and nearly 20 percent leave every year (Superville 2020).

The need for effective leadership continues to be one of the most important issues facing many schools and districts across the nation. Parents are seeking schools in which their children are nurtured by competent and qualified administrators and teachers. In pondering over what I wanted to share in this book, I began to think of the many different articles and published writing on the subject of effective school leadership. Volumes have been written on what great principals do and don’t do.

And so, rather than write another book filled with the many ideas written about leadership theory, in this book, I instead recount the many life lessons I’ve learned regarding the characteristics of a principled leader. My goal is to share what I’ve learned, with the hope that I might inspire those of us who have been at this for a while as well as what I believe might be very useful ideas to new and future school administrators who desire to be principled principals.

“Dr. Todd’s easy-going personality and joy for leading comes through in every page, making it seem as if you’re having a conversation while enjoying a cup of coffee with a colleague, a mentor, or a friend.” —Dr. Clara M. Guerrero, Principal, NEW Academy Canoga Park

"Dr. Todd shares heartwarming anecdotes about his personal and educational life that shaped his administrative leadership style. His subsequent principles, reflective of these experiences, can be useful to future administrators and educators anywhere." —Dr. Ronald W. Solórzano, Professor of Education, Occidental College

“A Principled Principal is a glimpse into the daily application of beliefs and values in a school setting.  Most compelling is that Dr. Todd shares his life’s journey from humble beginnings through his milestones to the emergence of being an effective leader.” —Dr. Marta E. Sanchez, Professor of Education, Department of Teaching and Learning, Loyola Marymount University

--Eric A. Todd, EdD

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