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I'm in the Principal's Seat, Now What?
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I'm in the Principal's Seat, Now What?
The Story of a Turnaround Principal



August 2013 | 136 pages | Corwin

Tried and true strategies every principal can implement

From a turnaround principal who has been there, I'm in the Principal's Seat, Now What? outlines clear strategies to create a positive, collaborative, and all-inclusive school environment.

Dr. Allan Bonilla, former Principal of the Year in the nation's fourth largest school district, shares experiences from his 40-year career in education to guide and encourage current and aspiring principals. Featuring tools such as checklists, rubrics, and templates, the book offers true-life stories, examples, and interviews with award-winning “turnaround” principals. The author shifts attention from tasks that seem important to strategies that produce measurable results by focusing on topics such as:

  • Delegation and collaboration
  • Meeting the needs of the at-risk student
  • Improving attendance and student achievement
  • Being a true visible leader
  • Incorporating successful business practices
  • Celebrating success, and
  • Adopting a coaching mindset

Far from being a standalone anecdote for success that hinges on one unique personality, this relevant guide will help launch your own sustainable turnaround story.



“Bonilla recognizes that culture matters—a lot—and he offers specific strategies to help everyone in a school learn and grow.”
—Thomas R. Hoerr, Author and Columnist
Head of the New City School, St. Louis, MO

“This book provides a practical guide for building a school on the vision that each student matters. Given the right organizational structure and climate, teachers will take ownership of problems, will implement proven, practical solutions, and will grow from good to great when they are supported by their principals.”
—Gene Bottoms, SREB Senior Vice President
Founder and Director, High Schools That Work

 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Chapter 1. Building a Positive Culture
 
Chapter 2. Structured Visibility
 
Chapter 3. From Delegation to Collaboration
 
Chapter 4. From Collaboration to Change
 
Chapter 5. Supporting Students at Risk
 
Chapter 6. Let's Celebrate
 
Chapter 7. Coaching Strategies at Work
 
Chapter 8. Parents Welcome
 
Chapter 9. Where We Are Now
 
References
 
Index

"The theme of visibility presented has already challenged my thinking and provoked reflection on my current and previous practice.  It has helped me to see gaps and holes that may have been there. This text would support my work with principals in helping them to see these as key traits/practices."

Arnna Graham, Leadership Coach
Vanderbilt University

"As a professor in the graduate school of education, these strategies would be an excellent addition to teacher education courses, school operations, and management."

Steven Roth, Professor
Keiser University

"The how-to guide, coupled with practical experience, adds authority to the author’s voice. With essential questions at the end of the chapters, this work will provide a thoughtful and compelling read for new and veteran administrators alike."

Rick Yee, Principal
McAuliffe School, Saratoga, CA

"I am taken by Allan’s approach to learning and leadership. He recognizes that culture matters – a lot – and he offers specific strategies to help everyone in a school learn and grow."

Thomas R. Hoerr, Author, Columnist, and Head of the New City School

"I'm in the Principal's Seat, Now What? provides a practical guide for building a school on the vision that each student matters. Given the right organizational structure and climate, teachers will take ownership of problems, will implement proven, practical solutions and will grow from good to great when they are supported by their principals. Middle grades and high school principals serving in low-performing, challenging schools will gain great wisdom and insight for creating a high-touch, high-performance culture for students and teachers that will result in improved outcomes in attendance, performance, and student engagement. This book provides a vision for making parents a partner in the process, celebrating student and faculty growth experiences, and building healthy competition."

Dr. Gene Bottoms, Founder/Director
High Schools That Work

"I’m in the Principal’s Seat, Now What? by Dr. Allan Bonilla is the kind of book that appears once in a decade. Bonilla became the principal of a large, failing school in Dade County, Florida, succeeded in turning the school into an exemplary school, remained in that school for fourteen years, and tells his story through evidence-based examples of team building, school culture, principal visibility and so much more. This book will appeal to any school administrator interested in leadership and practical options for helping a failing school become better to making a gifted school better and anything in between. It is destined to become a landmark book."

Mark F. Goldberg, Ph.D., Education Writer and Education Book Editor

"I am taken by Allan’s approach to learning and leadership. He recognizes that culture matters – a lot – and he offers specific strategies to help everyone in a school learn and grow."

Thomas R. Hoerr, Author, Columnist, and Head of the New City School

"In this immensely practical and powerful book, Dr. Allan Bonilla avoids the typical slogans about school culture and instead provides readers with the hard truths of leadership.  Although Bonilla is a successful turnaround school leader, this book is valuable for leaders of high-performing schools as well as those in need of significant change.  Moreover, both new and experienced leaders will benefit from the relentless emphasis on human connections in these pages.  I particularly appreciate the author's iconoclastic approach to leadership visibility, as he demonstrates that visibility in the lunchroom, hallways, and sidewalks is as important as visibility in the classroom.  Looking through the eyes of the student, Bonilla appeals to leaders to make a human connection, preferring relationships over checklists and impact over appearances.  Finally, this book provides an impressive mandate for the support of elective subjects, including arts and athletics, to save students from academic failure.  Bonilla poignantly reminds us that electives are not a competitor for academic achievement, but a necessary support for them.  The "afterthoughts and reflections" at the end of each chapter make this an ideal book for faculty book studies. I hope that it will generate vigorous discussions, constructive controversy, and as the author suggests, a few tears, all in the pursuit of a better understanding of helping our students."

Dr. Douglas Reeves
The Center for Successful Leadership

"This book is sure to be a must-have for every beginning and experienced principal. With Allan's experience as a successful principal in a struggling school, combined with his knowledge of leadership coaching, readers will gain inspiration and solid strategies to be equally successful."

Karla Reiss, President
The Change Place, LLC

“As a veteran of twenty-one years in the principalship, I recommend this work to new and even seasoned principals who wish to continue to grow professional.  This is a thought-provoking work- one from which we can all learn.”

David G. Daniels, Principal
Susquehanna Valley Senior High School

Sample Materials & Chapters

Front Matter

Chapter One


Preview this book

Allan R. Bonilla

Learn more about Allan Bonilla's PD offeringsDr. Allan R. Bonilla was born in Orlando, FL, a bit before Disney, and was raised in NYC, where he graduated from Forest Hills High School. After a brief stint at Hofstra College in NY, as well as a year and a half at Cal Poly in Pomona, CA, Allan returned to his home state of Florida where he earned his B.A from the University of Miami. Not knowing what career direction to take, he was told that Miami was in great need of teachers, and so there he began a career in education which lasted 40 years.Teaching both English and Spanish at the middle and high school levels, led this educator to a role... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781452274348
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