If ever Junior School director Nancy Richards needs a day off, she now knows she can put her trust in an 11-year-old to hold down the fort.
Grade 5 student Anna Fowler was poised and confident as she took charge of the Junior School on Friday, taking part in our third annual Principal for a Day event.
Miss Fowler (as her schoolmates respectfully called her throughout the day) started her morning making a great impression on her staff members, bringing in coffee and treats for them. The young principal then led a half-hour school assembly; introducing her hand-picked school-aged vice-principals, comfortably speaking to teachers and students, and hosting a Reach for the Top-style competition between primary, intermediate and special education teachers.
“I loved the assembly. That was really fun,” Miss. Fowler said, adding that despite feeling nervous (which she never showed) she enjoyed standing up in front of the school.
Throughout the day, Miss. Fowler participated in staff meetings (alongside Mrs. Richards), read daily announcements over the PA, worked alongside the school secretaries, made appearances in classrooms and conducted media interviews. She also hosted a special lunchtime movie screening in the gym, approved an extended recess break and handed out candy to her schoolmates.
Miss Fowler earned the opportunity to be principal of the Junior School by winning a silent auction during last fall’s Barn Dance, a fundraiser for the school.
Principal for a Day is more than just a fun, memorable day, it’s a truly once-in-a-childhood chance to take on a unique leadership role at school.
“This program lets students have really unique leadership opportunities; building on those skills of public speaking, confidence, planning, organizing, time management and delegating,” Mrs. Richards said. “It’s so heartening to see how thoughtful and reflective Anna has been working with her classmates and our staff on her plan for the day. She’s a great role model.”
Miss. Fowler also chose to turn Principal for a Day into a fundraiser for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. She asked that Friday be a Service Day at the school and students can earn the right to wear their street clothes by donating a loonie or toonie to the charity. This initiative raised $415.
While she goes back to being called Anna on Monday, she says this immersive experience opened her eyes to a great potential career when she grows up! “I enjoyed standing in front of people and talking. I think being a principal would be fun!”
(photos by Kyle Slavin and Gordon Chan)