Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 30

understand-and meet-the needs of
educators. When Miles took over the
principalship of Sterling Elementary
in July 2017, she realized that staff
retention was one of the school's most
pressing issues, as only a handful of
staffers had been at the school for more
than five years.
"The first thing I decided to do was
meet with the teachers and get a feel for
where they've been and what they see
this school becoming," Miles says. "I
spent a lot of time getting to know them
and found out that culture and morale
were big issues. A lot of people didn't
like coming to work."

Because the school was failing
academically, previous school leaders
increased the emphasis on academics.
The pressure was extreme, and teachers
felt like there was no room for fun. Miles
made space for fun, while maintaining
high academic expectations.
"You have to have a balance between
culture and academic press," Miles
says. "Let's have fun and make the joy
happen, but also give assessments to
make sure we're on track."

Managing Data
Simply collecting data is not enough.
Effective principals, like the best

You have to have a
balance between
culture and academic
press. Let's have fun
and make the joy
happen, but also give
assessments to make
sure we're on track."
-Emily Miles, principal, Sterling
Elementary School, Pineville, NC

30

PRINCIPAL * Special Supplement - May/June 2018

Photos courtesy of Lifetouch Phorography

one-quarter of the school's staff members are visiting international faculty that
work at the school for five years before
returning to their home countries.
ConcepciĆ³n devotes time and energy
to getting to know each of her teachers
and support staff. "When we don't have
relationships, we have blind spots,"
she says. "As principals, relationships
are so important because we can't do
everything. We're not omnipotent. I want
people to feel comfortable enough to
come to me and tell me what isn't working, or what's working really well."
Building relationships with school
staff also helps principals better



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

Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - Cover1
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Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 1
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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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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/NAESP/principal_wallacesupp_20180506
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