Principals at ED: Setting the Tone for Excellence and Equity

By Kim Tierney

A student gives a high five of congratulations to principal Kim Tierney before a school assembly. Photo credit: Matthew Putney.

Jill Levine, a Principal Ambassador Fellow at the United States Department of Education, recently turned her vision into reality by providing principals like myself with an opportunity to visit the U.S. Department of Education in order to build relationships with staff and ultimately better inform policy and communications. I represent the entire group of fifteen principals from across the United States when I say that this opportunity exceeded our expectations, and we have Jill to thank!

The mission of the programwas simple: “To provide input around the Department’s programs, policies and initiatives.” However, what I gained from the opportunity was plentiful. To be among the initial group of principals invited to the premier “Principals at ED” event was one of the most inspirational professional opportunities that I have experienced. It provided me with a unique opportunity to work alongside some of America’s most genuine, hardworking, intellectual, and fearless leaders, who represent some of the most demanding schools across the country. As I reflect, I'm most grateful to have learned about their schools, their leadership styles, the students they serve, as well as each principal’s unwavering commitment to education.  My passion for the work that we do for students in Iowa, particularly within the Waukee Community School District, grew even stronger because of this opportunity.

Furthermore, speaking with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Assistant Secretary Deb Delisle, and senior advisors changed my perspective about the U.S. Department of Education. The entire principal team representing schools across the United States truly felt as though our perspectives were valued and heard. It was evident that the Department has an unwavering desire to do what is best for kids, and ultimately they rely on hearing about the successes and failures that we, the educators, are experiencing in our schools.

Perhaps your team is implementing initiatives or programs that are resulting in improved student achievement. Or perhaps you carry a strong opinion in regard to potential improvement in our field. Quite possibly you have a vision for a future policy, and your school happens to be providing the model. Then by all means, I encourage you to contact Duncan and/or his senior staff. They really DO value our opinions, and in the end, children will win.

Kim Tierney is principal of Maple Grove Elementary in Waukee, Iowa.

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Nice opportunity not only for

Nice opportunity not only for principals' professional development but also for an experience exchange between various schools. By the way if we have students exchange why not to implement principals exchange? In fact students are thesis help website mostly because of numerous education flaws and this can be an approach to resolve some of them.

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