Tomorrow is the start of a new assignment for me. Having been the principal at two different schools over the past six years, perhaps this will be the beginning of a more sustained leadership position. I saw our school make some progress when I was the principal for four years, but we just began to turn the corner when I spent two years as the principal in a different school.
No matter what my boss(es) have in store for me in the future, I always like to keep my eyes on the evidence. In the case of principal turnover, the evidence suggests that a principal may have a greater positive influence in a school the longer he or she is at the helm (Chapman, 2005; Fink & Brayman, 2006; Fuller & Young, 2009). Although this may seem intuitive, there are many organizational reasons why changes are made within school districts that aren't supported by the research base. As educators, we know that these types of changes are sometimes for the better, and I hope this is one. So, I've embraced my new assignment and look forward to replacing a respected colleague who retired after spending 24 years in the principal's office. I'm sure there are many positives to build upon.