The principal’s day defies description. It’s fast-paced. Demanding. A rollercoaster, as scores of individuals clamor for attention at any moment for matters that touch every point on the spectrums of intensity and emotion. You just have to be there to understand.

During National Principals Month, a cohort of high-raking officials from the US Department of Education (ED) will be.

Led by Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education Deborah Delisle and Chief of Staff Joanne Weiss, more than 20 ED officials will visit schools in the Washington, DC area and beyond to shadow the principal and see firsthand what a principal’s day and various responsibilities are like.

The visits will take place during the second week of October. As a culminating activity, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will moderate a discussion of the shadowing participants on October 12 to share observations and impressions, with an eye to learning how ED can better support principals and to applying what they learn into their program decisions and policy discussions.

The US Senate approved a resolution (S. Res. 552) on September 12 recognizing the month of October 2012 as “National Principals Month,” and a similar resolution (H. Res. 781) was introduced in the House. Many state legislatures and Governors have also signed proclamations to show their support for the hard work of principals.

For more information about how you can celebrate school leaders during National Principals Month, visit


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