“Principal for a Day” is a partnership between the Douglas County Chamber and Douglas County School System which allows members of the business community to visit one of the 35 schools in the county and shadow the principal for a half-day.
The 40 guest principals got a unique opportunity Thursday to view firsthand the many challenges a principal might face on a daily basis, explained chamber president Kali Boatright.
“We feel it is highly important for our business leaders to see what goes on in our schools,” she said.
Carlos Underwood, supervisor of the Douglasville Conference Center, was guest principal at Mirror Lake Elementary School. He realized quickly how challenging running a school can be.
“There is a lot to deal with running a school,” he said.
First-year principal Susan Calderara agreed.
“The most important thing is that you never know what your day will be like when you come in and answer your phone,” she said.
In order to maintain flexibility while managing her time, Calderara sets two goals to complete each day.
“I cannot leave until I get those things done,” she said.
Catherine Owens of Douglas County United Way was guest principal at Annette Winn Elementary School. She participated in the program because of the tie-in with United Way’s goals for children and youth services.
She told Principal Melanie Manley, “We can’t learn enough about what goes on in schools.”
Manley explained the rich history Annette Winn holds in the Lithia Springs community.
“People feel very strongly about this school because the needs are so great,” she said.
The principal spoke with pride that the school has the largest mentor program in the county.
Two educators connected as Lithia Springs High School Principal Garrick Askew and guest principal Lisa Doney, associate provost at West Georgia Technical College, met.
Doney said she had wanted to visit the high school to both meet Askew and get more insight within local classrooms.
“I wanted to see Lithia Springs High School to learn more about their [science, technology, engineering and math] program because it sounds interesting,” Doney said.
In his first year at Lithia Springs High School, Askew said that being a principal is “fast-paced and ever-changing.”