October is National Principals Month and the Portland Public Schools is taking this opportunity to shine a spotlight on our principals, who are super. We celebrate and appreciate them not only this month but always! To showcase them, we have asked our principals and lead teachers to answer five questions about themselves and their leadership role. We also asked what superpower they'd like to have to aid in their jobs.
We're featuring each participating principal individually during this month. Read on to learn more about Super Principal Beverly Stevens of Ocean Avenue Elementary School:
Ocean Avenue Elementary School
Principal Beverly Stevens
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I love my job! I have been a principal for 22 years, and 14 of those have been in Portland. I have also had the privilege of teaching as an adjunct professor for six years in central Maine. Additionally, I was honored to be selected as one of eight principals in the U.S. to participate in the Fulbright Exchange program in Brazil in 2007. This was an amazing opportunity to visit schools across the country.
2) What inspired you to become a principal?
As a teacher, I taught students, full of potential and energy, from HeadStart to Job Corps, to seventh-grade math. Each place I went, I was recruited into leadership positions, until I settled into the amazing role of school principal. This position allows me to make a positive impact on students' educational lives for their six years in elementary school, compared to just one year as a teacher.
3) What do you feel most passionate/excited about in your job?
I love the big picture visioning bringing a coherence and focus to the work of educating students. I love coaching and celebrating our staff. I love working with our team for every student to grow, by decreasing the opportunity/achievement gap, and supporting students in working out problems big and small.
4) What's the most challenging part of being a principal?
The biggest challenge I think principals face is the sheer size of the job. While in business, a supervisor may oversee eight to 12 staff members, principals are responsible for supervising and evaluating 70+ staff members each year. At OAES, this is to support our 350 students and maintain communication with our entire school community.
5) If you could choose to have a superpower to help you in your job, what would it be?
It would be to be able to see into a child's mind to see exactly what they need right now to be set up for a lifetime of success.