Initiating Your Successful Transition to School Principal
Academic Leadership - Online Journal,
Vol. 5 No. 2 (2004): Vol-5-Issue-2-February-2004
Your appointment to a Principalship is only the beginning of your journey. The first steps begin with your
first year as building level leader. I desired to investigate those first-steps of principals who have made
the transition from assistant principal to principal to learn from their mistakes, insights, reflections, and
accounts. I expanded my desires into a study which I believe could benefit other aspiring, first year, and
even veteran principals. My study entailed an examination of role ambiguity and conflict, challenges and
expectations, and realties of high school principals moving from assistants to building level principals.
The investigation identified the challenges high school assistant principals encountered when
assuming a Principalship. To accomplish the study, 35 first year public high school principals were
surveyed and 10 interviewed in May near the end of their first year. The majority of the participant
principals were seasoned educators with 68.5 percent of them serving in public education for more
than ten years, and 100 percent serving as assistant principals for at least three years. The study
focused on self-evaluation and programmatic influences on the Principalship.