School of Thought Blog

With content from practicing school leaders and education experts, our School of Thought Blog offers a wealth of information and research on emergent education issues.

Helping Our School Leaders, Educators, and Students in Maui

Aloha to all our school leader and educator colleagues across the country. As you know, the devastating fires in Lahaina in Maui have shaken all of us here in Hawaii. The entire nation has watched a tragedy unfold, and many of our colleagues have asked us how they can help the Maui schools, educators, students and their families. I’m writing to let everyone know how to donate to support this cause.


Out-of-the-Box Solutions for Hiring During a Teacher Shortage

Twenty days before teachers return to our school this September, in the sweltering heat of the hottest summer in 120,000 years, at 5:01pm on the final day of the official deadline for teachers to notify principals of transfers, I received yet another teacher resignation. The Great Resignation continues, and education has turned into the Serengeti following the seasonal rains, like watching the wildebeest migration in real life.


Moving From Good to Great This Year

With the start of the school year just around the corner, I want to share a note of encouragement with my colleagues around the country. First off, I want to acknowledge how hard you work in such a difficult job. The responsibilities of a school leader are staggering. In my first several years as an administrator, I had a poster on my wall that showed the exponential increase in school leadership duties from the common school movement to today. It is mind-blowing in its complexity. And yet, we still have the same 168 hours in a week. In 2017, pre-pandemic, the U.S. Department of Education shared an example of “A Day in the Life of a High School Principal” for a glimpse into today’s realities.


Four Strategies for Strengthening the Principal-Student Council Relationship

The relationship between a principal and the student council is a strategic one that plays a vital role in shaping the overall educational experience and fostering a positive school culture. With the principal as the school leader and the student council representing the student body, a positive alliance steeped in collaboration and shared vision enhances communication, promotes student engagement, and drives positive change throughout the school community. As the school year begins, remember these four strategies to nurture your principal-student council relationship and enhance the educational journey.


Leading From a Place of Yes

I am honored and truly humbled to be named Massachusetts Principal of the Year. As we all know, it is a collective effort to create dynamic learning experiences in schools, and I could not accomplish anything without the incredibly talented educators I work with, who equally deserve this award. As I reflect on this recognition, I want to share how a few pivotal moments during my career have shaped who I am as a leader.


Wieczorek Looks Back on His Time with NASSP Board

Earlier this summer, Gregg Wieczorek wrapped up his seven-year tenure on the NASSP Board of Directors, including as president in 2021–2022. His final board meeting took place in California, where the entire board also participated in a service project at Poway High School. Wieczorek, who also retired this year from his position as principal of Arrowhead Union High School in Hartland, WI, reflects on his time on the board and as president.


Power Up Your Leadership With NASSP’s Ambassador Program

From left: Penny Vess, Jennifer Castillo, Keith Wood, EdD, Meta Viers (NASSP), Sharon U. Slater, PhD, and Jay Apostol, EdD, meet during Ignite 2023.

Are you passionate about making a positive impact on students’ and school leaders’ lives? Do you want to grow as a leader? If you’re a member of NASSP or its student programs, we have exciting news for you! You have a chance to elevate your leadership journey and connect with like-minded NASSP members by applying for the NASSP Ambassador Program


Sparking Change at Ignite 2023

Robyn Jackson, PhD, and CEO of Mindsteps Inc., during a general session, “You cannot achieve 100% success with an 80% culture.”

For those passionate about leading and learning, the Mile High City was the place to be last week as nearly 2,000 school leaders gathered for Ignite 2023, the premier conference for secondary school leaders. With over 100 peer learning opportunities and interactive experiences held at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, school leaders connected with colleagues from around the country and shared actionable strategies to better meet the complex challenges facing their school communities.


Taking Pride in Ethnic Studies

In honor of Pride Month, I want to share my experience advocating for Ethnic Studies, an interdisciplinary field that empowers diverse and often marginalized voices. At a time when America is increasingly polarized, the field of Ethnic Studies has become a contentious topic that often pulls apart communities. As education leaders, our role is to persevere and to explain that it is not Ethnic Studies that is dividing us but a lack of empathy and understanding. The antidote to this division is Intersectional Ethnic Studies.


How to Create Efficiencies in PD and Instructional Coaching

Principals’ plates are undoubtedly overflowing. From ensuring smooth daily operations to spearheading strategic initiatives, their responsibilities are diverse and demanding. Amidst these numerous duties, focusing on effectively supporting instructional coaching and teacher professional development can seem daunting, if not impossible.


Increasing Student Motivation and Agency at Ignite 2023

Schools should support each student’s unique strengths and weaknesses to help them reach their potential through engaging, active learning that encourages critical thinking and student voice. As a school leader, you’ll want to attend Ignite 2023—NASSP’s National School Leader Conference—July 12–15, in Denver, CO. The conference will offer dozens of sessions that will help you increase student motivation and agency within your school. To get you fired up, we spotlight three sessions here.


NHS: Not Only a Program but a Platform

Teenagers have a natural tendency to view the National Honor Society (NHS) as something that only elite and privileged students do. Way too many students drift through high school thinking the organization is not for them. As the school year comes to an end, I want to share why teenagers should consider participating in NHS next year. So, if you’re a student reading this post, I am here to tell you why NHS is for YOU.


Creating an Environment That Supports Whole School Wellness at Ignite 2023

Schools have a responsibility to promote and support the mental health and well-being of both students and adults, which leads to deeper learning and success. As a school leader, you’ll want to attend Ignite 2023—NASSP’s National School Leader Conference—July 12–15, in Denver, CO. The conference will offer dozens of sessions that will help you learn how to better approach social emotional learning and create a supportive environment in your school. To get you fired up, we spotlight three sessions here.


Reflecting on AAPI Heritage Month

In recognition of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, NASSP CEO Ronn Nozoe and Managing Director of Leadership Development Robyn Hamasaki—both born and raised in Hawaii—talk about their backgrounds and issues related to Asian American educators and students in our schools.


Improving School Climate and Culture at Ignite 2023

A supportive school environment starts with strong relationships between staff, faculty, families, and students. Promoting trust and a sense of inclusion leads to successful teaching and learning. As a school leader, you’ll want to attend Ignite 2023—NASSP’s National School Leader Conference—July 12–15, in Denver, CO. The conference will offer dozens of sessions that will help you improve school climate and culture. To get you fired up, we spotlight three sessions here.


Quick Tips to Ensure Graduation Runs Smoothly

Graduation is one of the most important occasions on a school leader’s calendar. This milestone signifies both an ending and a beginning–a fond farewell to years of student growth and learning at your school, and an exciting introduction to life’s next chapter. Follow the advice below from three school leaders on how to make the most of this moment.


Ignite 2023: Meet the Headline-Making Speakers

As we draw closer to Ignite 2023, NASSP’s School Leader Conference, taking place July 12–15 in Denver, CO, the buzz is all about the stellar lineup of speakers. This conference, the premier event for secondary school leaders, brings together thought leaders in education, offering a unique platform for shared wisdom and groundbreaking ideas.

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