National Principals Month: The Impact of a Principal

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October 5, 2021

By Jim Lynch, Executive Director, Association of Wisconsin School Administrators (AWSA)

Research since the 1990s has demonstrated that school principals' effect on students contributes to 25% of the total school influences on students’ learning. A report released earlier this year from the Wallace Foundation found that principals are even more important to students and schools than previously thought.

In the report “How Principals Affect Students and Schools: A Systematic Synthesis of Two Decades of Research,” researchers concluded that: “The impact on student achievement has likely been understated, with impacts being both greater and broader in affecting other important outcomes, including teacher satisfaction and retention, student attendance, and reductions in exclusionary discipline.”

The authors determined that school principals operate in four overlapping “domains” that influence school outcomes:
  1. Engaging in instructionally focused interactions with teachers.
  2. Building a productive climate.
  3. Facilitating collaboration and professional learning communities.
  4. Managing personnel and resources strategically.
As the sponsor of Wisconsin’s Associate Principal and Principal of the Year Programs, The Meemic Foundation has been at the forefront of recognizing the enormous positive contributions school principals make in their schools and communities every day. Our Principals of the Year represent these contributions so well.

Associate Principal of the Year
Kari Strebig, Rhinelander High School

Elementary Principal of the Year
Tina Miller, Howe Elementary School

Secondary Principal of the Year
Dave Beranek, Marathon High School
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