From the Superintendent: Thank You to Our Principals

Dear Colleagues,

Last week, I had the incredible good fortune to talk personally with both the President and Vice President of the United States of America. (I wish my parents could have seen that!) As we stood outside in a lovely, poolside garden at the vice president’s residence, I was struck by the contrast in these leaders’ lives. I knew from the news that President Obama was struggling with enormous foreign policy decisions, yet here both President Obama and Vice President Biden stood smiling, shaking hands, and truly listening to some of their nation’s education leaders.

Leadership can be both grueling and glorious, as any school principal in our country can tell you. National Principals Month begins on
Oct. 1 and reminds us to say “thank you” to the principals you know -- whether here in Saint Paul or in your home district.

The role of the principal has changed so much over the years, especially in the recent past. Previously, principals were expected to be building managers, responsible for ensuring that the school day ran smoothly. Today, “running smoothly” means:

  • All children are learning and reaching their highest potential
  • Teachers are providing high-quality instruction in their classrooms
  • Teachers have the professional development they need to teach to state standards
  • Families receive the information they need to help their children be successful

The job has become quite complicated and even more important as we strive to reach the goals of Strong Schools, Strong Communities 2.0.

Let me be the first to sincerely thank our principals for giving so much of themselves on behalf of the students in their schools. I know it can sometimes feel like a thankless job, especially in an era when standardized testing is emphasized. I also know that in the future, some of your students will reflect back on what made them successful in their lives, and they will utter your name.

You have a profound impact on the lives of our children, and we are all grateful. I hope you all enjoy our beautiful fall colors.

Your very proud superintendent,

Silva Signature



Valeria S. Silva