A principal's role in opening a new school
McGhee, Mitchell Vaughn
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The purpose of this study was to examine the duties and responsibilities of a principal of a new school, during the year preceding the opening of the school and during the first year of occupancy in that school. The examination was completed via an autobiographical case study. The case study was enriched by interviews with three principals that had opened new schools, one assistant superintendent in charge of new school construction, and an architect of schools. Personal reflections and interviews were recorded, transcribed, and along with documents were analyzed for themes. This study sought to answer the following questions: 1. What are the duties and responsibilities of a principal of a new school, while that school is under construction? 2. What are the duties and responsibilities of a principal of a new school during the first year of occupancy in that school? 3. What characteristics or skills are needed to be a successful principal of a new school? The following conclusions reflect the findings of this study. The duties and responsibilities documented in this case study, and those cited in the interviews and review of literature can be separated in to five theme categories: 1. Parental issues, 2. Construction or building issues, 3. Staffing issues, 4. School organization issues, and 5. Time management issues. There were also five skill, characteristics, or personal trait categories: 1. Interpersonal skills, 2. Organizational and planning skills, 3. Professional knowledge, 4. Vision, and 5. Flexibility. Although a lack of ability in any one of the categories could be detrimental, the categories that mitigate deficiencies in other categories is strong interpersonal skills and flexibility.