Community leaders become Principal for a Day

Local community leaders — everyone from law enforcement officers and business owners to elected officials — temporarily assumed new responsibilities on Tuesday: school principal.

Principal for a Day, sponsored by the Glendale Educational Foundation, meant new leadership at 29 Glendale Unified schools for several hours. Now in its 20th year, the program is designed to educate community leaders about the complexities of managing a school site, Executive Director Susan Hunt said.

“The principle behind Principal for a Day is to give representatives from business and community groups an opportunity to do a hands-on experience in a school setting that they most likely have never done before,” Hunt said. “Most people, by the time they are secure in their careers, are [well removed] from school, and school has changed a great deal from when they were there.”

It also serves to foster relationships between businesses, civic organizations and the schools, she said.

This year's participants included Glendale City Manager Scott Ochoa, optometrist Jeffrey Nishi, Sheila Cook of National Bank of California and News-Press Editor Dan Evans.

At Horace Mann Elementary School, Glendale Police Lt. Todd Anderson met with staff and parents before giving a 20-minute presentation to fifth-graders about the dangers of bullying.

Since its inception, more than 550 community leaders representing 40 professions have participated in Principal for a Day, foundation officials said.

Dedicated to fundraising for the Glendale Unified School District, the foundation has contributed $250,000 annually to local schools in recent years, Hunt said. This year, foundation officials have set a goal of $500,000, money that will be used to bolster music programs at the district's elementary schools.


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-- Megan O'Neil, Times Community News

Twitter: @megankoneil

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