Tiffany Awkard recently took over the reins from Principal Kimberly Boldon, becoming the new acting principal. Common Sense sat down with her to discuss the experience.
Common Sense: How has it been transitioning between being an administrator to a principal intern?
Tiffany Awkard: It has been great. The staff, students and community have really been supportive and champions of me. Fortunately, I had great opportunities prior to assuming the acting principal role that helped with the transition.
CS: How long will you be interning?
TA: The intern program is for the entire school year. However, I serve as acting principal for a period of two months until February 22, 2019. During this time, Ms. Boldon will be at Arcola Elementary School as the visiting principal.
CS: What do you plan to establish at Wootton before Ms. Boldon returns?
TA: I would like to continue the great work that Wootton already has in place, and elevate some new ideas that may support this work. For me, it is important that the needs of the school are met, and we will work towards incremental changes that will support these needs.
CS: What would you change about Wootton?
TA: It is important for me to learn and understand the needs of the school first. I respect the work of Ms. Boldon as the principal of the school and any changes I make, if any, will be through a collaborative process.
CS: What kind of responsibilities did you take on as the principal intern?
TA: All of the responsibilities of the principal. As acting principal I am leading the school vision, the instructional and operational functions of the school.
CS: What differs between the responsibilities of acting principal and administrator?
TA: As a principal, you are responsible for the overall operations of the school. As an assistant principal, you are given specific areas of responsibilities for which you oversee.
CS: Has this new position given you any challenges?
TA: I think anything new provides a level of challenge. As acting principal, being able to balance it all effectively is important and I am learning to do that. Also, knowing that I am responsible for 2,300 students is incredibly important to me, safety and security are paramount. Working with a great administrative team as well as a security team keeps me confident in knowing our staff and students are safe. I love the experience of serving in this role and the challenges with it.