Wednesday, April 21, 2010


This morning, at a hastily called staff meeting, our principal announced that she was leaving. A loud collective gasp quickly followed with murmurs of "what?!" and "no...."

This is not an exaggeration.

While she was explaining her departure (nothing tragic) tears sprang up into eyes all over the room. I've only been here three years but that didn't take away from the enormous sadness that weighed on my chest and trickled down my cheeks. I can't put into words how much this principal means to this school, but I am sure my colleagues will be posting something eloquent over the next few days. Sometimes others just say it better.

I can speak to what she means to me. Personally she has been my professional rock (no offense to my husband, my boulder). During my first year she gave me her no nonsense support that I desperately needed. She tackled problems with speed and practicality. Loved that. My second year she helped me find my way through maternity leave and what I like to call "maternity return" (harder than the leave). My third year she gave me the support and confidence I need to be a team leader without feeling like it was too soon or I was too green. She handles everything with a no-nonsense-let's-get-to-the-point approach that I love.

She is a cheerleader who doesn't need pompoms and she can comfort without a hug. Not many can claim those talents. Sigh, and now she's leaving.

To cope, I am attempting some humor by approaching this using the five stages of grief.
  1. Denial: GASP! WHAT?!?! NO NO NO NO NO!
  2. Anger: How dare she hire me and then leave after 3 years. She can't leave. She should stay here until I decide I should leave. She can't do this to me.
  3. Bargaining: What if we work out a telecommuting arrangement? How about discipline cases are sent somewhere else, like the equipment shed? Will she take a bribe? Can we beg?
  4. Depression: How am I going to go on............
  5. Acceptance: Sigh. Fine. Leave. I know, I know... this is a good move for you. You will be happy. The timing is perfect. I am happy for you... I am, really I am.


ChiTown Girl said...

Aw, that's a shame. It can be so hard to find an administrator that you feel this way about, so I know having her leave is going to be tough. I just pray that whoever replaces her will work out.

Kstack said...

I'm so sorry for you. Good principals are hard to come by. Great principals are even more scarce.

I hope she's going somewhere that they'll appreciate her as much as you do.