Local Officials, Business Leaders Led DeSoto Schools as Principal for a Day

WR theater with 2 - 2DESOTO, TX – On October 20, DeSoto ISD schools changed leadership hands as local officials and business leaders took over the campuses as Principal for a Day. The program, designed to allow participants to experience a day in school from the principal’s perspective, is in the third year at DeSoto ISD and the hands-on experience is showing positive results.
“I would like to express my profound and sincere thanks to the school district for providing me with the opportunity to serve as a Principal for a Day,” said participant Judge Scott Kurth, DeSoto Municipal Court, who was at East Middle School with Principal Donna Blackburn. “This is my second year and I came away once again filled with hope and promise for Texas and our nation. The children were simply amazing and the professional staff was exceptional.”
Participants began their day before the first bell – DeSoto High School and Freshman Campus started at 7:15 a.m., middle and elementary schools started at 7:45 a.m. After checking in at the office, many were given their ID badge and walkie-talkie for the day and taken on a tour of the school as the first students started to arrive.
Many participants greeted students as they entered the building. Smiling faces returned from the weekend ready to get back to business. Once the first bell rung, students were taking their seats to start the day. Many participants, meanwhile, were preparing for the morning announcements.
“Greeting students over the school-wide public announcement system was exciting!” stated Leon McCowan, regional administrator for the Administration for Children and Families, who was at Northside Elementary with Principal Brandon Ward. “But seeing the action in the classroom and how the teachers interact with students was the best.”
Pastor Ouida Lee, Church of the Disciple, spent the full day at Woodridge Elementary School with Principal Robert Torres, including parent and staff conferences (with parent permission) and classroom participation. “Engaging with students is how we build relationships. We need to be part of their world, not just them part of ours! This experience reminds me how important educators are in the lives of our children and thank each of them for the hard work and love they put into our children.”
“The purpose of this program is to help community leaders understand how schools really operate and understand the rigor and rewards of being a school principal,” said Superintendent David Harris. “By shadowing one of our outstanding campus leaders, we hope our participants will see hands-on the various aspects of leading a school and the many hats worn by a school principal.”
“We hope to foster a greater understanding of education today which has changed from when many adults were in school,” said Dr. Harris. “Public education has higher demands for every student than ever before. We want to provide a glimpse of today’s schools from the principal’s point of view.”