I’m sure we can all think back to our early years in elementary school and think of at least one teacher who made a lasting impression on the way we learned or had a direct influence on the type of person we wanted to become.
Instead of a teacher, however, how about a principal?
I remember principals as “the boss” of the school. The one for whom you would stand a little straighter or speak a little more softly as you passed in the hallways. This role model often served as the one person you might see where a visit could easily turn unpleasant.
But as society continues to place added pressures on our educational system, administrators and teachers, I see they have a more profound effect as positive role models to students.
Take Kevin Bott, the principal of Hanna Springs Elementary in the Lampasas Independent School District. I first heard him speak to a group gathered in the Lampasas ISD board room at a regular meeting featuring Hanna Springs.
Bott gave a presentation highlighting his campus — their goals, accomplishments and (as a nice surprise) he featured the fun they have while learning. It’s always enjoyable to see an educator who is not only excited about the demands of the job, but also welcomes the challenges while possessing an infectious enthusiasm caught by those around him.
I asked Bott what inspires his unique outlook on kids and education. Not surprising, his response was just as inspirational as his presentation.
Bott said he never considered pursuing a career in anything other than education as he pursued his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees.
He said he enjoys seizing the opportunity to encourage and inspire students when they’re young, and he spoke of how truly rewarding it is to watch them grow and succeed.
He expressed how much he enjoys coming to work in a school that is fun and inviting but maintains a high level of expectations from students. His personal goals are to strive to encourage and energize others to keep growing, keep improving and to inspire students to do great things.
Wow, just imagine, with educators such as Bott, learning really can be fun.