This is February 6, 1994. This is an interview with Mr. Fred Pickup at the Mountainview Inn in Greensburg, PA on his experiences as a secondary school principal.
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Q: Mr. Pickup, would you begin by telling us about your family background, your childhood interests and development?
(Streamed audio file of interview for this question using RealPlayer)
A: Well, first of all, I was born in Western Pennsylvania although I attended schools out of state. I graduated from a small rural school in Indiana County, attended a four-year program where I majored in social science at IUP and then took graduate work at the University of Pittsburgh.
Q: Would you discuss your college education and preparation for entering the field of teaching. How many years did you serve as a teacher?
A: First, I majored, as I said, at IUP. I had about two solid years of social sciences and I served 5 1/2 years in 3 different school systems as a teacher, and then had a total of 29 years of administrative experience as an assistant principal and principal.
Q: So then you say you had about 29 years, now that's combined teaching and principal?
A: No, 5 1/2 as a teacher, 29 as a principal and assistant principal.
Q: Thank you. I wonder if you would discuss those experiences or events in your life that constituted important decision points in your career and how you feel about them now that you're retired?
A: First, I had the good fortune of working under several principals that I respected and admired and I think that encouraged me to get into school administration.
Q: And would you talk about the circumstances surrounding your entry into the principalship?
A: Well, I think it was a case where I felt it would give me an opportunity to work twelve months, earn more money, and hopefully, exercise leadership in the instructional program.
Q: So, you're saying that leadership then was your primary motivator to get into the principalship?
Q: Did that motive change over the years?
Q: Would you take us on a walk through your school describing its appearance and any unusual features of the building?
A: Well, the building is about 35 years old. It is a two story brick structure located on about a 70-acre tract in the eastern tip of Westmoreland County. It houses boys and girls from the northern end of the Ligonier Valley School District, and the student population in grades 7 through 12, historically, has ranged from a low of about 480 now and at one time it had a peak of about 830 students.
Q: Are there any other unusual features of the building?
A: Well, there was an addition put on about 15 years ago to accompany the increased student enrollment, and of course, we have a practice field above the school that was added and a football field that was improved after I came there.
Q: Thank you. Would you describe your personal philosophy of education and how it evolved over the years?
A: Well, I think it is important that secondary education placed a strong emphasis on not only the basic skills but enhanced learning in all the academic areas plus a good exposure to the fine and practical arts with opportunities for specialization in various subjects on the senior high level including Vo-Tech education.
Q: Could you tell me how your instructional philosophy matched that of the school that you served in and how that could have evolved over time?
A: Well, it was an evolutionary process. First, with its origin with my own experience as a teacher, my graduate work at the University of Pittsburgh, IUP and Penn State courses. Of course, it was refined and developed through many workshops and conferences that I attended and state and national conventions that our school district sent us to.
Q: Do you feel that your experience in your professional life influenced your management philosophy, and if so, could you tell me how?
A: Yes, it was again a evolutionary process based on experiences throughout those 29 years. I think I've learned to be more of a democratic leader as the years passed involving staff and even student leaders in formulating policy and procedures.
Q: What techniques did you use to create a successful climate for learning in your school?
A: Well, many years ago I developed a faculty advisory committee made up of teachers from each of the academic areas and then several members were elected by the faculty itself where we met at least once a month over a period of several years dealing with topics that I had concerns about as well as those that the faculty identified and wanted addressed.
Q: Do you think then that you were ahead of the time in the educational reformation?
A: Well, I don't know about that, but I do know that it was a case where it provided valuable input and understanding and made decision-making much easier for me.
Q: Would you describe successful and any unsuccessful experiments in climate building in which you were involved?
A: Well, I might add that one of the biggest failures that I experienced was working as an assistant principal where we moved into a new instructional system, and I think too much was tried too soon where there was too much pressure put on faculty to follow the lock step procedures outlined in this instructional system.
Q: What instructional system might that be and how was it presented to your staff?
A: The Madeline Hunter System and it was presented in a manner in which I think faculty members felt overwhelmed with too much material at one time where they felt every
single step and procedure had to be followed in each and every lesson that they taught no matter what had transpired, for example, the day before.
Q: Thank you. What kinds of things do teachers expect principals to be able to do? Could you describe your views on what it takes to be an effective principal describing the personal and professional characteristics of the good principal?
A: Well, first of all, I think a principal has to have a vision of what he wants to do with the staff and student body. He must be able to articulate that to the staff to motivate them to want to buy into it so it is their program, and I think you have to coordinate that with the school board and community expectations.
Q: As a followup to that question, would you describe the expectations both professional and personal that were placed upon principals by their employers and the community during your period of employment?
A: Well, there were times that we would meet, like in executive session with the school board, where we would discuss their goals and objectives, and also there were times when we would be involved in a management by objectives where there was input from the board of education, where there was monitoring throughout the year, and where there was reporting to several different central office administrators where we as building principals reported to them primarily as we sought what we were doing to help them meet their objectives.
Q: Thank you. Do you think these expectations differ from today's situation?
A: I think so because I think today there is a growing realization that the secondary principal is the key person in terms of determining whether an educational program is successful on the secondary level. I think sometimes a mistake is made when there are too many central office administrators subordinate to the superintendent who gets sandwiched inbetween the superintendent and the principal.
Q: Mr. Pickup, a great deal of the attention has been given to the topic of personal leadership in recent years. Could you discuss your approach to leadership and describe some techniques which worked for you, and perhaps, an incident which your approach failed?
A: Well, I had already talked about the failure under the system where the Madeline Hunter System was imposed too rapidly and the case where overwhelmed staff caused a lot of adverse reaction toward the administrative staff. On the other system, as I said, I think the faculty advisory committee worked well in the past for me, and I further think with the restructuring today that a principal would be well advised to even have faculty staff members recruited to serve on a committee with supplemental pay because it does require a lot of extra time and effort on their part, I think it would tend to show that it is of high priority to the administrative team, and I think it would help the administrator keep a close watch on the pulse of the thinking of the staff and get accurate feedback to the principal as well as to enable him to have a team to help him promote his ideas with the total staff.
Q: Could you think of an incident as a building principal, Mr. Pickup, that perhaps jeopardized your leadership?
A: Yes, I recall one experience where staff members, a few of them, perhaps got overzealous in enforcing a questionable school policy and it resulted in a school strike where about 150 students joined in a sitdown strike and where we had to suspend over 100 at one time.
Q: Could you tell me about the policy?
A: Well, it was a policy that forbid students to get into their lockers between class periods. We felt that they could do that once in the morning and then once right after lunch thus minimize the noise and distraction between classes, but it was one that even many parents did not support.
Q: Thank you. There are those who argue that, more often than not, central office policies hinder rather than help building level administrators in carrying out their responsibilities. Would you give me your views on this issue?
A: Well, as I alluded earlier, I think there should be very close and direct and frequent contact between the superintendent and the secondary school principals in working toward carrying out the goals and objectives of the central office.
Q: Now, if you were king, what changes would you make in the typical systemwide organizational arrangements as a way of improving administrative efficiency and effectiveness?
A: Well, as I say, I think it would be wise to have a direct line of responsibility flowing between the superintendent and the building principals rather than having them sandwiched inbetween with other central office administrators.
Q: Thank you. Mr. Pickup, if you were advising a person who is considering an administrative job, how strongly would you advise that person to go into administration and what would that advice be?
A: Well, even though I had some problems in my school career, I think it's a very important job, it's very rewarding, it's very demanding, but I would encourage all young people who are considering jobs in school administration to go through a university that has an assessment lab where they would have a keen understanding of the complexity of the job, the demands and the skills that are needed to be assessed and then, by all means, to have an internship prior to the experience of hiring on as a principal.
Q: Very good, thank you. I appreciate that. There are those who argue that the principal should be an instructional leader and those that suggest that, realistically speaking, this person must be above all a good manager. Would you give your views on this issue and describe your own style?
A: Well, I think a good and effective principal must be both an instructional leader and also a good school manager, and I think one has to develop priorities, set out a year-long program, and then work toward achieving all those goals.
Q: How might a person become both a good leader and a good manager, Mr. Pickup?
A: Well, first of all, to follow through on the assessment, once a person is established in a program, I think it is important that they, toward the end of that administrative preparation program, that they get involved in an internship, and then even more importantly, I think once they secure a job as a principal, that they get involved in a program where a mentor is assigned to the building principal. Just as we have mentors for teachers, I think this job being certainly as important, they too should have a mentor for the prescribed plan of action that this principal must go through.
Q: Would you describe the ideal requirements for principal certification and discuss appropriate procedures for screening those who wish to become principals?
A: Yes, I think it should be a joint project of the university and the school system where they have an assessment lab to screen a bank of potential principals and where those people are selected on the basis of their potential for leadership. Then I think they should have the broad-based course offerings but they should have courses in which there is a strong emphasis on case studies, on simulations, on proven competencies in areas like building a master schedule and developing a school budget. Too often, I think the courses are strong on theory, historical background and then they lack the essential experiences that a principal must have to be successful.
Q: I appreciate that input. It is often said that the principal should be active in community affairs. Would you discuss your involvement with and participation in civic groups and other community organizations?
A: Well, my experience was limited. I was involved in the Lions Club and also I worked closely with the PTO. And, of course, your work as a secondary school administrator in itself is a broadbased exposure to community activities.
Q: Do you feel that there's any one organization in particular that had influence upon you or you felt most influential toward?
A: Well, I think it was working with parent groups, PTO, and also our coffee clatch meetings that we established many years ago in our buildings where we invited a wide variety of parents to come in once a month to see the school in operation, to take a tour, and to sit down with coffee and donuts and to talk about their concerns and aspirations for their children. It also gave me an opportunity to sound them out on new programs and procedures that we were contemplating.
Q: Could you think of any issues that were antagonistic enough that many parents attended your coffee clatches and just wanted to voice a concern about a particular issue?
A: No, there were no real problems identified during the years that we had those in operation where there was any great antagonism.
Q: Thank you.
A: Except, I might add, some dissatisfaction with the school lunch program, and there was some good out of that in that we had a school lunch director who would meet with us and identify our concerns, met with student leaders and developed a group that would even meet and serve as an advisory team for the school lunch program.
Q: Thank you. A good deal of attention has been given to career ladders, differential pay plans and merit pay in recent years. Would you give your views on these issues and describe any involvement you have had with such approaches?
A: Well, we've never had a merit pay plan for teachers. I know it's been tried in many different school systems throughout America with varying results, but we have had different pay plans for administrators some of which provided for bonuses based on evaluations but often it did produce very devisive side effects among the administrators as they vied to have the best possible evaluations. And, it also perhaps worked to counteract the team effort that we always want to have on an administrative team.
Q: Thank you. Would you describe your approach to teacher evaluation and give your philosophy of evaluation?
A: Well, I think the best approach, and it is a preventative one, is to make sure that we hire the best possible teachers for every vacancy that should occur even if it looks like a one-year assignment because often, through pressures, we wind up maybe hiring that person and then they secure tenure and they're with us for a lifetime. Therefore, any time a vacancy is open, I think we need to write to all the neighboring universities, ask them to send a couple of their very best candidates to us, and then I think we need to screen them and investigate them very carefully. I think we should insist on a video taping of these teachers in action, and then I think we have a responsibility to frequently visit their classes, to meet with them, and by the way, I think those visitations should be both pre-announced, preconferenced as well as the drop-in visit because there I think you see it as the students typically get that instruction each day.
Q: Thank you. Mr. Pickup, a good deal is said these days about teacher grievances. Would you give your views on the desirability of such procedures and describe your approach to handling teacher dissatisfaction?
A: Well, I think it's vital to have a system whereby people work through the proper channels. I, personally, believe that problems should be solved in the lowest level possible. Prior to the formal grievance procedure, we often had many teachers or custodians complaining directly to board of education members without going through the proper channels, so although it creates extra time and paperwork, I think it is a desirable procedure to encourage solving of problems and it frees superintendents and boards from being clogged with petty problems that they sometimes hop over the heads of building administrators to the central office.
Q: Have you had any experiences or have you been involved with any teacher grievances?
A: Over the years we had several grievances but they were primarily grievances that dealt with interpretation of the contract.
Q: Thank you. Would you discuss teacher dismissal and your involvement in such activities?
A: During those years that I served as a building administrator, we or I never had the experience of going through a formal teacher dismissal through the courts. However, there were several times where we had teachers who were not performing well, and after frequent visitation and conferencing, they were persuaded to leave short of having a formal dismissal.
Q: Thank you. What in your view should be the role of the assistant principal? Discuss your utilization of such personnel while you were a principal.
A: Well, I think the assistant principal both for the school's sake as well as his own professional growth should have an involvement and an acquaintance with all aspects of the total secondary school curriculum. I happened to work with Duquesne University and also the University of Pittsburgh in dealing with two assistant principals, and during that time, we would meet in advance in the summer (the three of us, that's the university professor, myself and the intern who was gaining certification from both Duquesne and Pitt), and we identified areas of planned exposure and involvement and then this university professor would come in frequently, in one case almost monthly, to check on that progress.
Q: Would you describe the most effective assistant principal with whom you had the opportunity to serve?
A: Yes. He was a person who came in as an intern who was anxious to get involved in all aspects of secondary school administration and one who won the respect and I think admiration of the total staff for his keen sense of what was needed to be an effective principal. And incidentally, within a short time, moved quickly to become superintendent of schools in a neighboring school district.
Q: Thank you. During the past decades, schools have become much larger. Could you discuss your views on this phenomenon and suggest an ideal size for a school in terms of optimal administrative and instructional activities?
A: Well, I've read a lot of research about that, much of it is contradictory, but I think the old concept that big is better is not necessarily true. I think sometime while the city of Pittsburgh was a case in point where they envisioned the great high schools, just a few of them in the big city of Pittsburgh, but because the increased social problems and concern for violence, even that system decided to go with remodeling their existing high schools. But, from my sense of reading my own personal experience, I think the ideal size would range between 400 and 900 students on a senior high level. That gives, I think, the building administrator and the teachers a much better chance of getting to know the students and it's much more a personal situation when that class size range is maintained. I think also that it is much easier to maintain good student control.
Q: Thank you. In recent years more and more programs for special groups of students, for instance; LD, gifted
and talented, and non-English speaking have been developed. Please discuss your experience with special student services and your views on today's trends in this regard.
A: Well, during the time that I served at Laurel Valley High School approximately 29 years, I witnessed a lot of changes in the areas of special education. When I first came there, the students and their parents were very dissatisfied - it being a junior senior high. Over approximately three decades that I worked with special students, there have been great changes that took place in our building. Initially, we had all six grade levels, grades 7 through 12 grouped together with one teacher for a full day. That produced a lot of unhappy campers. Then we broke that into two groups, a teacher in a room for junior high and one for senior high. Then we moved into supervised work study programs that proved to be quite successful. We also experimented with and implemented multi exceptionalities where students were involved for perhaps just a period with a particular learning disability to students with multiple serious handicaps and learning difficulties who remained in that room almost for the total day. This worked better because of the complexity when we had a teacher aide. I would highly recommend in a situation like that, that you have at least a full-time teacher aide to assist the teacher. I think it's encouraging to see signs that today ways and means are being explored to have other students benefit from these special funded programs from Harrisburg and Washington. The new Chapter I regulations indicate that there will be an effort to spread across the general population some of the benefits that are now restricted so narrowly to a hand full of students.
Q: Thank you. There has traditionally been a commitment in this country to the principle of universal free public education. Would you give your views on this concept and indicate your feelings on the practicality of such an approach in this day and time?
A: I strongly believe in universal free public education for all students. I am aware of the voucher support and the congressional sentiment for a change, but I think what we need to do is concentrate on funding public education even to a better degree in the future. I think what is needed is a shift away from the reliance on property tax to a system that comes directly from the state with greater monies going into the districts that have the greatest need. I also think that we need to boost dramatically the amount of money that we spend per student. I think we need to develop alternatives for the students with real difficulties, personal adjustment problems, something between the system that we now have three or four thousand dollars spent on a student in many locales to the alternative where they get in trouble with the law and then we send them to prison and we spend twenty to forty thousand dollars a year to incarcerate them. I think there is something wrong with our society when we spend more money to jail a student then we do to educate them at Harvard or Princeton or Yale or any other institution in America.
Q: Thank you. Good answer. I liked that answer. Mr. Pickup, administrators presently spend a good deal of time complaining about the amount of paperwork and the bureaucratic complexity with which they are forced to deal. Would you comment on the situation during your administrative career and compare the problems you encountered with your perceptions of the situation at this time?
A: Historically, over the period of time that I served, I saw a great increase in the amount of time that had to be spent with paperwork. The one encouraging development related to technology. With the computer, we had the ability to process and store and maintain records that we could not have otherwise handled this increased complexity.
Q: Given the presence of administrative complexity, if there were any areas of administration that you could change in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of educational administration, what would they be?
A: Well, I think as it relates to staff development, I think for all staff members there should be a broad acquaintance with the job and demands of the position. I think we would need to improve staff development for all professional staff members including board of education members. I think it is very unfair to get a person off the street and then to, as I have witnessed at times, bring them into the board of education, swear them in, and perhaps invite them to cast the deciding vote on a controversial 15 million dollar budget or whether or not we consolidate schools. I think all school board members should be given preliminary training and an introduction to the role of the board of education member. I think it is very unfair to ask them to assume this very key position without any formal training. I think all of us are acquainted with the district magistrate program that they must go through before they can even run for that position, and I think it would serve our students well to have school board members who are sincerely interested, have the advantage of going through a preliminary training program and then also opportunities where they would continue that education. And when it came to staff members, I think it would be well to develop a program like many of our western states have where teachers would be required every three or five years to go back and take an appropriate professional growth course rather than have them all concentrated on the front end and then sit back and relax and feel confident that they have all the education that they need to teach for perhaps forty years.
Q: As a followup question, if you could change any areas in the curriculum or overall operations of American schools, what would they be?
A: Well, I think first and foremost we need to have the schools site-based management program developed in conjunction with leaders at the University and in close cooperation with the board of education.
Q: Would you describe your relationship with the superintendent in terms of his general demeanor toward you and your school?
A: Well, I have had the experience of working under three superintendents of schools, and of course, those experiences varied from one case of poor to another very good. So, it depends on that person and the respect and cooperation and teamwork that they extend to the principal.
Q: Thank you. And, as a followup to that question, would you discuss your general relationship, pro or con, with the board of educationand comment on the effectiveness of school board operations in general?
A: Initially, I was hired on as the principal of the single school district of Laurel Valley, and that was in 1964. In 1966, we merged and then we elected a school board at large where nine members were selected from the total community. At times, that did become strained especially when the issue of school consolidation came up and where school directors would sometimes attempt to use you both privately and in public meetings to foster their own preset goals of whether or not we retain the Laurel Valley attendance area or have those students merged and sent to Ligonier or to some school in the middle of the district.
Q: Thank you. It has been said that the curriculum has become much more complex in recent years. Would you comment on the nature of the curriculum during the time you were principal and compare it to the situation in today's schools citing positive and negative aspects of the situation then and now?
A: Well, the curriculum should be in a state of flux or change. It should be in the process of change throughout a period of time dependent on the needs of society. As you know, we are under strong pressures to change our system today with the outcomes-based education, but I can recall, for example, sex education. I remember just the mention of the word "sex" caused many people to recoil at the idea of sex education. Today, it's commonplace and accepted because I think such things as AIDS and high premarital pregnancies demanded that we take a different look at subjects like that. Computer education was an area that recently was expanded into the curriculum. Advanced science and math electives were added. There was a de-emphasis on home economics and industrial arts education during my tenure, and an increased emphasis on vocational and technical subjects offered by the vo-tech that were much more appropriate to today's job market.
Q: Thank you. There are those who argue that standardized testing can provide a way to improve instruction. Mr. Pickup, would you discuss your experience with such testing and provide us with your views on its effect on the quality of the instructional program?
A: Years ago, standardized testing was given in our school district. The results were very poor and they gathered dust in the file cabinets of most administrators. It was not something that we were very proud of. Then, about twenty years ago, we had a superintendent who felt keenly on the importance of utilizing test results to improve instruction. So, we developed a bank of information about student progress by grade level and all academic subjects over a 15-year period and we utilized that even on departmental levels in each building to cause teachers to focus attention on areas of weakness, and we did see rather dramatic results in terms of improved student performance. However, I am concerned that it may cause a restriction of the curriculum by causing too many teachers to focus on doing well on the test rather than doing what is right for the students.
Q: Could you describe your work day? That is, how did you spend your time, Mr. Pickup? What was the normal number of hours per week you put in?
A: Well, typically, it began at 7:30 and went officially until 3:00. However, it was highly unusual when I left the building before 4:00 often just to go home five miles to have a meal and then to hurry back to school for some concert, ball game which could be boys or girls - junior or senior high, or a dance, or a school board meeting. I figured often I was out of the building two or three nights a week and often spent, I would say, 68 to 70 total hours involved in the total school program.
Q: With that heavy of a schedule, could you describe some of the pressures you faced on a daily basis and explain how you coped with them? Could you describe your biggest headaches or concerns on the job, and could you describe your toughest decision or decisions that you had to make?
Mr. Pickup? Well, school discipline was always a problem. It took a lot of time and it was very frustrating, and sometimes, spilled over even into board of education meetings, some of them that resulted even in expulsions. But, the most frustrating one was where we had that student strike where we had to suspend and alienate over 100 students in one day.
Q: Would you describe those aspects of your professional training which best prepared you for the principalship and those types of pressures that you're speaking of and which training experiences were least useful?
A: Well, I think the least useful ones would be, even though I enjoyed them and found them useful from a personal viewpoint, were those that were steeped in philosophy and the history of secondary education. Those that were most useful were the experiences where, like in an internship program, we got to visit many different school systems in western Pennsylvania and interact with school administrators listening to their problems, their successes, and their projects that they were currently working on. This gave me a broad-based view of education. But, the ideal one became midway in my career where I was selected to serve one year as an intern with the Pennsylvania Department of Education. During that time, I attended state board of education meetings as a learning intern. I was able to structure my total year there. I spent time in administrative leadership services, Bureau of Curriculum Development, the federal programs, community college, and for six months I had the opportunity to visit schools and educational institutions all over the commonwealth of Pennsylvania from state colleges to prison schools to parochial schools, which I never knew the state supervised at all, even into Amish schools, so I had a chance to visit schools in urban areas, rural and suburban, from east to west throughout Pennsylvania and it was a very broadening experience.
Q: From what you're telling me, Mr. Pickup, you had a precursor of a mentoring program. What is your view on the mentoring program for new administrators in which an experienced administrator is paired with a neophyte?
A: With the 501 districts in Pennsylvania, many of them are small and have perhaps just one other secondary administrator. Some have no other administrator. They have simply a small junior/senior high. But, in the larger systems that have several administrators, I think it is a great idea. I think it is an honor to those successful administrators to be assigned a mentoring position, and I think that no matter how well versed the incoming administrator is, it is a great chance to learn from another, to use them as a sounding board, and to get a better background into the total aspect of secondary school administration.
Q: If you had to do it again, what kinds of things would you do to better prepare yourself for the principalship? Would you describe your feelings knowing what you now know about entering the principalship yourself if given the opportunity to start anew?
A: Well, in place of having so much formal education, I think the emphasis should be on the assessment process where there is a clear and early identification of the areas needed for improvement or the areas of weakness, and then I think there should be a program designed where the prospective administrator has an opportunity to grow and learn with a strong emphasis on simulations and case studies and with a lot of hands-on experiences to demonstrate the competencies that would be needed in the principalship prior to going into that new assignment.
Q: Since you have had some time now to reflect on your career, I wonder if you would share with us what you consider to be your administrative strengths and weaknesses?
A: Well, I think my strength would be that I considered education truly to be a lifelong learning experience, and I demonstrated that not only on my many informal ratings throughout my lifetime, my attendance at conferences and conventions, but even my willingness to continue formal graduate work at Pitt, IUP and Penn State over a 26 year period. I have taken over 150 graduate credits among those three institutions.
Q: Would you discuss the circumstances leading up to your decision to retire at the time you did giving the reasons and the mental processes you exercised in reaching the conclusion to step down?
A: Even though there were problems that I encountered from time to time that discouraged me on the job, I did enjoy the job right up to the end. There were also some personal problems that related to my health, a serious problem related to my wife's health, my mother's advanced age and declining condition. Then, too, I was encouraged by a special incentive that the school board offered along with the State Mellow Bill and all of these things kind of coincided and I felt fortunate if I was to leave early to go at the time that I did when all of these forces came into play at one time.
Q: Would you give us an overall comment on the pros and cons of administrative service and any advice you would wish passed along to today's principals?
A: Well, I think it is an extremely challenging job, a very demanding one, a very stressful job and one that seems to be constantly growing in complexity, so I think the perspective administrator would be well advised to get a keen and accurate understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses and then a keen assessment of what the job involves because once you get into it, while there are a lot of headaches and problems, there's a lot of satisfactions that one gets in serving as a building administrator.
Q: Would you tell us the key to your success as a principal?
A: Well, I think it was having a keen interest in the boys and girls, staff members, being a good listener, having the willingness to commit many hours to the total process and involving many different people. As I said, I involved student leaders, teacher leaders, and even community leaders and parents in the process of administering the junior senior high school.
Q: My last question, Mr. Pickup, despite my best efforts to be comprehensive in my questioning, is there anything that you feel that I have left out or advice you would like to give to future administrators?
A: No, I think you've developed a very comprehensive set of open-ended questions that gave me an opportunity to respond concerning the principalship. But, as I said, I think administrators should know themselves and know what the position involves before they get too far along in terms of the graduate education because it is an extremely tough but very important job that has a great deal of personal satisfaction as well as a lot of headaches to offer.
Q: Mr. Pickup, on behalf of myself and the Educational Administration of the Department of Youngstown State University, I thank you for your time, for your information, and for your cooperation in the project that is so important in the preparation of future educational leaders. Thank you.
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