Father’s Day, Administrative Assistant’s Day, Women’s History Month … the list goes on. Now we can add Virginia Principals Appreciation Week! Governor Timothy M. Kaine has declared January 12-16, 2009, Principals Appreciation Week.
This statewide public acknowledgement of the important role that principals play in their school communities, helping students achieve bright futures, formally recognizes principals for all they do. Read the proclamation. Hopefully, more states will formally recognize principals in this way.
How do you think Principal Appreciation Week should be celebrated?

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re: Appreciating the Principal

I am always ambivalent about things like this for us. It is a very nice gesture. However, there are also many, many people who work in school systems that don't get recognition and don't have their own appreciation day/week. I don't want to be singled out for doing something that others are doing but not getting recognized for.

re: Appreciating the Principal

The staff and students noticed that it is Principals' Week and decided to honor their principal, me! I was surprised with a banner in the hall way. The children enjoyed finding their name on the sign in the hall. One 4th grader remarked, “I wrote my name in cursive!’ I later counted that many 4th grade names were written in cursive! They were proud since they know this is a school initiated focus this year. The social committee provided a large cake in the faculty lounge for all to enjoy. Several classes made cards. Two children made me a card for being a good “Princeable”….. I like that, Prince-able sounds like a great title along with the great responsibility of principal!
As principals we honor the teachers, nurse, drivers, cafeteria works, office workers, and other support staff members at their weeks. It was fun to be treated like “royalty” or a prince able for a moment in time!
After honoring the teachers last year by asking the students to dress up, one student asked when it was going to be student day. Of course we know that every day is student day! There was one date in May with no special activity, so we declared this their day. Staff members dressed up by wearing church or semi formal clothing in honor of the students. One teacher wore her wedding dress! (Remember several years ago wedding dresses would meet school dress codes?!?) Most of us just wished our wedding clothes still fit us!

re: Appreciating the Principal

I wish each a very Happy Principal's Week to all the excellent principals and assistant principals in the Commnwealth of Virginia!

You are truly appreciated for your hard work and efforts to provide the students in our schools with a quality education.

Keep up the great work and best wishes for a great 2009!

Nancy Davenport

re: Appreciating the Principal

Principals Appreciation Week in Virginal via a resolution from the Governor is a long standing tradition. This recognition initiated by the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals and the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals began I believe in the 80’s under Governor Charles Robb. Stimulated by the Governor’s proclamation, local school districts recognize principals in a variety of venues. It is a simple gesture to recognize dedicated school leaders who give so much to so many. In Virginia, there are recognition programs for teachers, superintendents, local school boards and, in some local school districts, community volunteers.

At the district level, Principals Appreciation Week is celebrated in a variety of ways. Recognitions that have occurred that I am aware of include:
• Celebration and recognition of the principal by faculties who present a tailored resolution citing specific reasons in their school, certificates of appreciation, before school breakfast, surprise assemblies with students, faculty, and community in attendance, and lunch with faculty
• Invited to dinner with the local superintendent or school board
• Local news media recognition
• In many instances, students and the community join in the celebration by assisting the faculty in recognizing or providing a specific type of recognition suited to their unique organization (PTA Life Long Membership)
• PTA and other community support groups join in the celebration just as they do when they recognize members of the faculty and staff
• Faculty and students decorated the school and students constructed various messages in their own hand writing to thank the principal
• Local school board recognized the principals with a dinner and certificate
• The Resolution is posted on the on the Virginia Department of Education web site
• Each year the VAESP Board of Directors visits the General Assembly as a team representing elementary principals across the Commonwealth and is recognized by the Senate and the House.

The possibilities for recognition of the principal are endless, just as they are for teachers, community and students. As a principal, I witnessed many of my faculty, parents and students involved in the recognition process garner a sense of pride and recognition because they knew that success did not come without a team approach and they were a part of that team.

Furthermore, effective school principals know that their recognition is only possible as a result of the efforts of many. Therefore the recognition brings honor to their school, not honors to an individual – principals know they are only as good as the students, faculty, support staff, and the internal and external partners that support their efforts on a daily basis. The recognition of one expresses the efforts of many.

T.L. Shortt
VAESP Executive Director