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Viewpoint 181: October is National Principals Month

Brainerd Public Schools fully appreciates all of the principals in our district and sends a sincere “thank you” for your unending commitment and passion for high quality teaching and learning to take place.

Laine Larson
Laine Larson

The past year and a half have been extraordinarily challenging times in the world of public education. At the forefront of every district decision is the valuable input from our school district leaders. Our administration has spent their careers putting student success as the primary reason for their “why” and have continued to focus on district priorities during the challenges of COVID-19.

October is National Principals Month — a time for district leaders, parents, students, teachers, staff, school leaders and communities to say thank you for their leadership. Together, we celebrate and honor our incredible principals and their significant impact on the success, health and well-being of our students!

Related: Viewpoint 181: The Distinguished Achievement Hall of Fame — prophets in our own land The Gichi-ziibi Hall of Fame ceremony clearly allows our students to see, hear about and learn what people, who walked the same hallways as our students are now walking, have done with their lives upon graduation from the school our students share with each of them.
Recent challenges and decisions surrounding the pandemic haven’t always been perfect, or easy, but I know first-hand of the incredible stories of resilience, generosity, compassion and hope that have sprung from our principals in an effort to help our students succeed in their new normal.

Have you ever wondered what keeps these incredible practitioners going? Why did they choose educational leadership as their profession? Here are some responses to their “why” from a few of the remarkable principals in the Brainerd Public School District.

Amy Jordan, principal of the Lincoln Education Center: “I became a principal because I love the students and staff that I have the privilege to work with each day. They bring joy and laughter to each of my days. I could not do my job without the staff, students or families who continually support our work. The BEST part of my job is spending time in classrooms with students.”

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Jim Conrad, principal at Harrison Elementary: “I enjoy making sure every student gets what they need, both academically and emotionally. The best part of my job is spending time with the students not only in the classroom but also in the cafeteria, in the gym, on the playground. And, I enjoy working with staff to make the best experience possible for everyone.”

Jessica Haapajoki, principal of the Brainerd Learning Center: “I have been a principal in Brainerd for 10 years. I love my job and I'm committed to the kids in our community that haven't found success in a traditional setting. Each day presents new opportunities to help students reach their full potential. Not every student can excel in a large traditional school. Brainerd Learning Center gives students a fresh start and the opportunity to find success in school again and graduate from high school. At BLC we can provide unique opportunities for students to find their passion in learning. Great kids doing great things!”

Tammy Stellmach, principal of Baxter Elementary: “My grandmother was a teacher who began her career in a rural one room school. She was an inspiration to me, and I always knew I would be a teacher. In high school, I was in many leadership positions, which made me realize how I could go into teaching as well as leadership. I believe as a leader, you still need to be a teacher. I love my job, my professional passion and goal include making a difference in the lives of my students and teachers every day, with a focus on relationship building. The best part of my job is all of the people I connect with along the journey.”

Related: Viewpoint 181: Welcome back to school year 2021-22 — What is our ‘whY?’ The answer to our “whY” is clear, “We do it for our students, our children, our future!” We work in partnership to make lasting change in each child’s life.
Brainerd Public Schools fully appreciates all of the principals in our district and sends a sincere “thank you” for your unending commitment and passion for high quality teaching and learning to take place. It has never been more important to remind our school principals that, “YOU are important — YOU and YOUR work matters!”

The contributions each of our principals make, on behalf of our students, enriches the positive difference we make for their future!! Never before have our principals and practitioners been more valued, appreciated and respected than you are today at Brainerd Public Schools! Thank you for staying true to your “why!”

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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