“Principal for a Day” program lets community shadow a school principal

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MISSION, Texas – It’s a program which aims to build bridges between the community and schools. Today Local 23’s Mike Jimenez participated in The Principal For A Day Program at Kenneth White Junior High School in the Mission CISD.

For the past 20 years Brenda Betancourt has been the principal at White Junior High School. She says she is passionate about educating children. “They keep you motivated, they keep you young, they keep you hip, and you have to stay right there with them so you can relate to them.”

Since 2006 Mission CISD has held the Principal For A Day program where community leaders shadow a school principal.

“They [the community] can see how much hard work goes into planning meetings, coordination, communications, with parents communications with kids. To see how much goes into building that child.” says Betancourt.

From meetings with parents and teachers to visiting classrooms, Mike Jimenez shadowed Principal Betancourt and learned that the job is not just about education.

Principal Betancourt says, “Making sure we teach them about discipline. About being prepared, about responsibility, about being a person and being a responsible citizen in the community. Technology how to be safe with technology.”

The principal adds that the program gives participants a unique opportunity to understand what it takes to be a principal every day.

“My job as a principal, I think is to make sure I remove all barriers for them so they can deliver the best lessons for the students.”

Brenda Betancourt says even if you have a plan, things can happen and you have to learn to roll with the punches. Adding a principal will make more daily decisions than a doctor and some made on the spot and always in the best interest of the students.

“Our motto is always ‘Play to Win’ and that is in the classroom, the field, the court, it doesn’t matter. You give it your best every single day.” says Betancourt.

District Communications Director Craig Verly says in the 13 years they have held this program, they have received nothing but positive feedback. They hope that it will build bridges between the community and schools in the city of Mission.

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