Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 21

Photo courtesy of Larissa McCoy, A.P.  Leto High School

students and teachers, and a resistance
to disruption from staff members who
wanted to do their best for students, but
had not been trained. "It's natural to be
fearful of change," she says.
O'Dea shares that an early challenge
was about risk-taking risks and hoping
for the right outcome. "Being empowered to take risks is a little bit frightening,
and you hope you're doing the best thing
for your staff," she says.
As far as working with her leadership
team, training them while they are training others can be an ongoing challenge.
"Sometimes you need to use direct,
explicit instruction and say, 'Here's what
you need to spend your time doing, and
even though you may be friends with
another teacher, you still need to push
them,' " O'Dea adds.
For Olson, learning how to meet
people where they are-even if it's
frustrating-is a challenge he once
faced and is now seeing his leadership
teams face. "You have to approach
the job with a positive attitude, model

behavior, and see each person's
potential," he says.
However, all three principals agree
that once people start seeing the impact
of the work they're doing, behaviors
and attitudes of both students and
teachers change.

Measuring Impact
At Leto, the quality of lesson plans has
increased exponentially, and the school
is no longer at the very bottom when it
comes to test scores. "Although it may
not seem like a huge improvement,
we're now third from the bottom in
Algebra I," McCoy-Mitti says. "And in
the district formative assessment that
mirrors state tests, we scored 11th out
of 23 schools that administered the
Algebra I-A assessment."
O'Dea also reports "steady growth"
in test scores from 2015 to 2017, with
students going from 42 to 49 percent on
the state English/language arts test, and
from 43 to 53 percent in math.
Olson says his school grade increased

40 points on the state tests over the
last five years, and that teachers seem
more willing to take chances, seek help,
and volunteer their time. For example,
on a recent Saturday, members of the
Beautification Committee spent the
whole day painting murals and planting
an aromatherapy garden.
Across the board, the principals report
increasingly positive responses from
teachers on School Climate Surveys,
and a greater willingness to trust each
other and the administration.
Principals who are most effective
at growing leadership in others share
common traits, McManus says. "It's not
just about performing tasks, but about
interacting with others and building
credibility," she explains. "They are
people who want to create a culture in
which others thrive. And most of all,
they want to make sure everyone has
a voice." *
Susan McLester is a freelance education
writer in Berkeley, California.

Our priorities are what we teach, how we teach, and
authentic literacy. We make it work by all pulling together
and working collaboratively to overcome barriers."
-Larissa McCoy-Mitti, principal, A.P. Leto High School, Tampa, FL (pictured at right)

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018

Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - Cover1
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - Cover2
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 1
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 2
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 3
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 4
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 5
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 6
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 7
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 8
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 9
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Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 12
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 13
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 14
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 15
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 16
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 17
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 18
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 19
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 20
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 21
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 22
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 23
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 24
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 25
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 26
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 27
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 28
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 29
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 30
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 31
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 32
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - Cover3
Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - Cover4
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