Community Leaders Walk a Day in Principals' Shoes

San Mateo County hosted its annual Principal for a Day event on February 26, 2015, and the community loved it.

"It's a valuable event, because there aren't many people who really understand what a principal does all day," said Principal Lynne Griffiths of Henry Ford Elementary in Redwood City. Her guest principal was Redwood City Mayor Jeff Gee, who was able to assist with a fire drill, perform yard duty, and observe students and teachers in their classrooms. Gee thoroughly enjoyed his time as principal and marveled at the fantastic team at Henry Ford: "It is clear to me that the teachers are passionate about what they are doing and they are committed to giving the children that they are working with skills that will last them a lifetime."

Other guest principals included Millbrae Mayor Robert Gottschalk, who visited Taylor Middle School, and Carrie Chinn, president of the Millbrae Rotary Club and former principal of Lomita Park School, which is where she spent her day.

Gottschalk had a hard time picking his favorite thing about the event, saying there were too many to count. However, he cited participating in the morning TV broadcast, observing the school band, and sitting in on an accelerated mathematics class as some of the highlights. With Gottschalk's visit to Taylor, he believes he has now been guest principal at every Millbrae school and called that achievement "a real privilege." When asked about Gottschalk's day as principal, Superintendent Linda Luna said it might take a while for the school and Principal Phil Hophan to recover: "Mayor Gottschalk accomplished a lot today, including abolishing homework!"

Chinn was able to bring a unique perspective to Principal for a Day, as she knows exactly what it's like to be the principal of Lomita Park. She thought that experience helped her enjoy the day even more: "Because I was the principal there before, it was so great to see how everything had changed." Chinn's favorite experience was getting to teach the multiplication tables to one of the mathematics classes. "All of the students got it right!" she said.  

The San Mateo County Office of Education would like to thank everyone who participated in this wonderful program. We're already looking forward to next year!