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Sixteen Top Executives To Become Principals for a Day

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Sixteen Top Executives To Become Principals for a Day
Posted on 04/28/2016
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Sixteen leaders of local businesses, colleges, nonprofits and other organizations will spend a day as guest principals at Portland’s public schools during the week of May 2-6, as part of the fourth annual Principal for a Day program, run in partnership with the Portland Regional Chamber.

Beginning Monday, May 2, each of the 16 top executives will be paired with a principal to see a school in action. The executives also will have the opportunity to share their general business expertise on such topics as managing change in a complex institution, motivating employees and setting benchmarks to measure success.

“We look forward this year to another group of leaders from Portland area businesses, nonprofits and other organizations sharing their insights and acumen with our school leaders,” said Portland Interim Superintendent Jeanne Crocker. “We’re delighted the Principal for a Day program continues to draw so much interest from such key community members, and we hope it will continue to lead to ongoing relationships that benefit our schools in new and exciting ways.”

For example, a partnership with EnviroLogix developed after that company’s president and CEO participated in the Principal for a Day program. EnviroLogix for the past two years has partnered with the district to hold an annual Portland Public Schools’ STEM Expo (STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math) in the fall. Other Principal for a Day relationships have resulted in companies and other organizations providing school volunteers, student internships and other support for the district.

“Business leaders recognize that today’s students are our future employees,” said Chris Hall, the Chamber’s CEO. “This annual Principal for a Day program isn’t just show and tell. Partnering with principals gives CEOs the opportunity to not only learn about what goes on in schools but also to help, by lending their expertise.”

This year’s participants are leaders from a wide array of businesses, colleges, nonprofits and other organizations, ranging from Maine Basketball LLC to Portland Ballet to the Portland Fish Exchange.

Some executives got so much out of the Principal for a Day experience previously that they have signed up again this year. They include Ronald Cantor, president of Southern Maine Community College, and Jahnna Steindl, financial services manager with People’s United Bank.

Here’s what Steindl had to say after her experience last year: “I spent a lovely day at East End Community School with Principal [Marcia] Gendron and her fabulous group of educators and learners. The pleasure was 100 percent all mine. My time with them helped to enhance my understanding of Portland Public Schools and the amazing work they are doing with and for the children and families of Portland.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Christopher Claudio, CEO of Winxnet, a 2015 Principal for a Day at Portland High School, engaged with students during his visit to the school.