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 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 principal individually during this month. Read on to learn more about Super Principal Kelly Hasson of Peaks Island Elementary School and Cliff Island School:
Peaks Island Elementary School and Cliff Island School
Principal Kelly Hasson
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I feel incredibly fortunate to literally have come full circle in my educational experiences. As a native of Peaks Island, I began my PPS “career” as a kindergarten student at Peaks Island School. I have taught grades preK through grade 5 throughout my career, have been an instructional coach and also have been a principal at two very large elementary schools. Now in my sixth year as the school leader of both Peaks and Cliff Island Schools, I feel like I have the best job in the world to have landed back in the very place that is closest to my heart.
2) What inspired you to become a principal?
I have always been very passionate about teaching and learning, and helping students find their unique pathways to success. I was inspired to become a principal when working as an instructional coach and wanting to help make a bigger impact on student learning and well-being, and to support and collaborate with teachers in their practices.
3) What do you feel most passionate/excited about in your job?
Leading our island schools, I am able to develop close, trusting relationships with all of our students, staff and families, which is such a gift. Being a part of our students’ continuum of growth and learning up close is an honor and pretty exciting.
4) What's the most challenging part of being a principal?
There are many roles and responsibilities to continually balance as a school leader. I find one of the most challenging aspects is attending a lot of meetings that can take me away from students and staff. Virtual meetings, however, certainly have helped make this less of a challenge.
5) If you could choose to have a superpower to help you in your job, what would it be?
I think I would want my superpower to be having the ability to ensure every student arrives at school excited, content and ready to learn every day, and also to be able to ensure they leave school each day feeling happy, fulfilled and eager to return.