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Community, business and faith leaders participate in Principal For a Day program

Community, business and faith leaders participate in Principal For a Day program

Terri Rice from Cox Communications tours Hyde Elementary as Principal For a Day. Wichita Public Schools celebrated National School Choice Week 2020 by inviting leaders from community organizations, businesses and churches to visit WPS schools as a Principal for a Day. These 35 leaders spent more than 100 combined hours getting a first-hand experience of today’s K-12 public school environment from the principal’s perspective.

The Principal for a Day experience is an opportunity for those leaders to learn about today’s public education system – the outstanding students, teachers and support staff our principals interact with daily, as well as the challenges they face. As part of National School Choice Week, the majority of visits showcased WPS’s magnet schools and high schools, where choices and opportunities for students are emphasized.

Visitors included 12 local pastors and ministers as part of an Engaging Congregations Program intended to help local church leaders experience schools so they can support their church member students and families in an intentional manner. Other visitors represented the Sedgwick County Commission, Wichita City Council, Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas, Cox Communications, Exploration Place, Girl Scouts of America Heartland, Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters, Greater Wichita Partnership, Greater Wichita YMCA, Koch Industries, KWCH, Spirit AeroSystems, Wichita State University and Wichita Wind Surge.

Bob Moulette, general manager of the Wichita Wind Surge minor league baseball team, spent a morning touring West High School with principal Mark Jolliffe, and was impressed with the broad range of options available to students.

“Getting to see the programs provided to students has been great,” Moulette said. “It helps us as a professional company see where we can help bridge the gap by knowing what’s going on in the curriculum.”

Lacey Hibbs, membership recruiter for Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland, toured Woodland Health and Wellness Magnet Elementary School with principal Pamela Brown.

“It’s been really been enlightening to see how varied a prinicipal’s job can be,” said Hibbs.

This was the first time Brown had hosted a community member as Principal For a Day.

“I love being able to show community members what we do on a daily basis,” said Brown. “I’ve also been able to show a realistic picture of what some of the struggles can be for students and staff.”

Some visits will continue during the month of February.