Education experts: Schools to toil filling top role

By The Associated Press

FORT WAYNE — Indiana schools are likely to have a hard time attracting principals as top officials' responsibilities are increasing, educator experts say.

A principal's role now includes staying up to date with legislation, handling teacher evaluations and supervising school programs, The Journal Gazette reported.

“The role of the building principal has become a lot more like what school superintendents used to do in the past,” said Tim McRoberts, the associate director of the Indiana Association of School Principals, which offers professional development, promoting a work-life balance.

McRoberts added that young principals will become exhausted if they don't pace themselves.

“The next crisis is the administrative,” Fort Wayne Community Schools Superintendent Wendy Robinson told the school board last month.

Fort Wayne, which has about 50 schools and 30,000 students, needs to fill principal positions in some middle and high schools. But Robinson told the school board that time commitments could discourage teachers from applying.

Matt Schiebel, who was a principal in Fort Wayne for 15 years, said that role has been one of the most stressful positions he has occupied.

“You are that person that takes the call when there’s an alarm at 2 in the morning. You are that person when there’s an unexpected death of a student or faculty member.”

Homestead High School, a part of Southwest Allen County Schools, will be hiring an assistant principal due to increasing enrollment and expanding academic needs.

Park Ginder, Homestead's principal, told the school board the assistant principal's responsibilities would include overseeing alternative school programming, tracking dual-credit information and data, teacher evaluations and supervising student events.

Principals are difficult to retain according to a 2019 National Association of Secondary School Principals and Learning Policy Institute report. It shows that as of 2016-17, the national average tenure of principals in their schools was four years.

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