- Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School
- Leadership Profile
Leadership Profile for Principal - Samuel W. Tucker Elementary
This LEADERSHIP PROFILE defines the specific attributes for the next principal of Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School. The profile reflects input from several stakeholder groups to include staff, parents, Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) members and community residents. Applicants and selection panels will use this profile to assess the candidate qualities of the position.
Introduction and Background
The Alexandria City Public Schools initiated a search for the position of principal of Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School in May 2022, to replace the principal who announced his retirement effective at the end of the school year.
ACPS gathered information for the leadership profile from a community online survey and virtual focus groups with staff, parents, and community members. The online survey was open to the public. The survey requested participant comments about strengths of the school, challenges facing the school and qualities/attributes desired in a new leader. The online survey was open from May 13-24, 2022.
In May 2022, separate focus group meetings were held virtually with the Samuel Tucker staff and PTA/community to provide additional opportunities for input using the same format as the online survey.
The online survey enlisted comments from approximately thirty parents, community, and staff members. The focus group sessions were attended virtually by approximately twenty-four staff, parents and/or community members.
As there was no requirement for participants to provide personal identifying information, there was certainly overlap and duplication through the various means provided for individuals to offer their comments. There were, as will be evidenced later, several consistent themes throughout the various modes of response. Certain comments from parents, staff and community were very much in line with one another.
Note, the data provided are not a scientific sampling, nor should they necessarily be construed as representing the majority opinion of the respective groups providing feedback.
As search consultant, I have reviewed the comments made through the various modalities offered and provided a summary of consistent themes in a concise manner to support the application, interview, and selection process for the new principal. This report, by its nature, cannot include all comments made. However, the detail of all feedback is available and will be maintained for an appropriate period.
The strengths, challenges and traits noted will be used to select candidates to be interviewed. The successful candidate will be one who, through the interview and selection process, best fits the leadership profile. Ultimately, the selected principal will be a school leader who can provide excellent educational, social, and personal outcomes for students, staff, parents, and the community.
Consistent Themes from the Online Survey and Virtual Focus Group Meetings
Strengths of Samuel Tucker School
- Diversity, inclusivity and celebrating of cultures
- Modified calendar
- Strong intersession opportunities
- Feeling of family/community
- Dedicated, strong, caring and committed staff
- Administrative leadership and support
- School culture
Challenges for Samuel Tucker School
- Staff morale and teacher burnout, particularly considering lingering pandemic issues
- Differing needs of student body—instructional and social emotional
- Communication among various stakeholder groups
- Consistency in student behavioral expectations
- Need for consistent processes and follow-through
- Funding for teachers and resources
Desired Personal Qualities/Attributes of Principal
- Decision maker even in difficult situations
- Fair, caring, honest, kind and calm
- Good listener and communicator
- Someone who cares deeply about the students
Desired Professional Qualities/Attributes of Principal
- Knowledgeable and experienced in both elementary teaching and administration
- Values staff, utilizes teacher strengths and supports their work in the classroom
- Positive track record with diverse school settings
- Visible throughout the school
- Understands and supports academic and Encore programs/content
- Holds high, yet realistic, expectations
- Can have difficult conversations as needed with various stakeholders
- School culture/climate builder
- Understands and appropriately utilizes data
- Connects with students
- Understands child development
Sample Comments from Online Survey and Focus Group Meetings
Many of the comments from staff, parents and community centered around organization and management at Tucker. This comment summarizes the thoughts of many in relation to this desired strength:
“There are so many moving parts at Tucker and so many different stakeholders, and that means an administrator that is strong in managing multiple projects, individual, needs, all at once, while being able to stay strong to a vision.”
The following statements provide an overview of feedback from the online survey and focus groups relative to attributes desired in the new principal:
Online Survey: May 2022
- Someone who is calm, humorous but firm when needed.
- A commitment to excellence, a strong communicator, who is willing to identify and tackle issues.
- Open hearted about people from all types of diverse backgrounds and family structures.
- Someone who will empower teachers and trust when delegating.
- Has high expectations for all.
- We need a leader who values equity and diversity.
- Demonstrated ability to lead teachers and staff.
- Ability to build and maintain relationships.
- Accessible, open to hearing positives and critiques, involved in day-to-day with students.
- Goals oriented.
- Treats employees like professionals.
Staff Focus Group: May 18, 2022
- Someone who treats students and staff with respect.
- Is firm in tough conversations—can say ‘No.’
- Clear, concise, and well-spoken.
- Problem solver.
- Proactive—forward thinking—always has plan B.
- Acknowledges the good and still encourages growth.
- Someone who invests in the community.
- Respects and understands the variety of talents in staff.
- Someone who will ensure we are student focused.
- Puts others first.
- Open to new teaching practices.
PTA /Community Group: May 23, 2022
- Has ability to relate to diverse population.
- Welcomes parent input.
- Relationships are important.
- Previous experience with modified calendar.
- Someone who can support high achievement throughout the school.
- Open to parental involvement.
- Accessible to parents.
- Takes care of security on the campus
Instructions to Applicants
A candidate should use this profile to make a self-assessment and determine how she/he best fits the qualities sought by the school community. These characteristics should be reflected in the content of the application. Should the applicant be selected for an interview, that candidate must demonstrate these qualities in the screening process. Generally, a strong principal should demonstrate leadership and management skills, inspire trust, and build support in the school and across the community. We seek a principal who can do adapt these qualities for the Samuel Tucker Elementary School community.
As your search consultant, I extend my thanks to all participants who provided feedback via the online survey and focus groups. Your time, effort and care are most appreciated. We look forward to the selection of the best candidate as your next principal.