AUGUSTA, GA. – About 50 students and community members attended the College Middle Level Association’s (CMLA) Principal’s Panel on Nov. 16, featuring four principals from area schools who talked about their paths to education careers and what they are looking for when hiring new teachers.
Phyllis J. Gamble, principal of North Augusta Middle School, Michael Johnson, principal of Evans High School, Dr. Titania Singh, principal of Freedom Park Elementary, and Aletha Snowberger, principal of C.T. Walker Magnet School, gave the audience some personal anecdotes, and answer both formal questions from a student moderator and questions from the audience. The event was organized by the student members of CMLA, led by advisor Dr. Stacie Pettit, professor of education.
Some of the qualities that principals look for in a candidate include:
- Being confident, but not cocky
- Having multiple certification, especially gifted
- Mastering knowledge of content area
- Being able to deal with parents
- Being able to engage students
- Possessing additional qualifications or abilities, such as the ability to coach a sports team, sponsor a club, fundraise, or volunteer in other aspects of school life.
It’s also imperative that a candidate not give the impression of being what one principal called a “bell-to-bell person,” which is someone just there for a paycheck. They look for someone with passion and a desire to contribute to the overall culture of the school.
Finally, etiquette is also important. Principals prefer that you complete their district’s online application, for their convenience. The day of an interview, a candidate should email the principal a thank you letter and attach a copy of his or her resume. And a candidate should follow up a week or two later with the principal to see if there are any follow-up questions or documentation requests.
If you are interested in a career in education, kinesiology or counseling, visit www.augusta.edu/education.