You probably see your assistant principal often. Whether they greet you when you get off of the bus, or pass by in the hallway during class change, or even join in on the fun of the school musical.
“There’s a lot in a day,” Brandi Robertson said. As the assistant principal at Brownsville Elementary school, her day starts early in the morning, around 7 a.m., with getting kids safely into the building.
It’s then on to more than 90,000 square feet of hallways, classrooms and common areas, where she is talking with teachers and students to ensure that all are ready for another outstanding learning experience. On occasion you can find Brandi covering classrooms for teachers, meeting with parents and students to solve a problem or fill a need or meeting with staff and teachers to talk about upcoming events, an unexpected challenge or opportunity for how best to reach out to parents or community partners.
“Every day is new and I never know what I’m walking into,” said another assistant principal in the division, Christie Isaiah, at Jouett Middle School, said.
What doesn’t change, Christie insists, is the love that assistant principals bring to their students and staff.
“Collaborating with students is my favorite thing about being an assistant principal,” she said. “The families and my staff are the source of so many outstanding ideas and support for our mission,” she adds.
For Tim Driver, a longtime assistant principal at all three county high schools, collaborating with students is a big part of his life. Enough to even be a part of a school production of Annie.
“You try to find what kids are passionate about or interested in and be a part of that,” Tim said.
And the devotion doesn’t waver during a global pandemic, either. Assistant principals provide vital support to administration teams tasked with navigating a school year unlike any other.
“Kids always come first but it’s different for kids this year,” Brandi reminds us. “It’s about making sure they’re comfortable in school, because you want to help them grow and be OK again.”
And it’s that goal that’s always in the back of the minds of our administration staff.
“Kids have to learn that you care before they care to learn,” Tim said. “You have to show them that.”
That dedication is why this week, ACPS is recognizing all assistant principals as part of National Assistant Principals week. The National Association of Secondary School principals put it best--“This year, our celebration takes on even greater significance as we recognize all that assistant principals have conquered amid the pandemic and consider what their ever-expanding and evolving role might look like moving forward. Through it all, America’s assistant principals have demonstrated unwavering leadership—becoming a source of strength and inspiration for us all.
Nowhere is that truer than right here in Albemarle County Public Schools.