Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Emerging Leader

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Emerging Leader

Article excerpt

Sometimes it helps to have another opinion about a troublesome situation, and Peter Hall is ready to help. Hall, one of the members of PDK's 2009-10 Class of Emerging Leaders, has supported the mentoring programs of the National Association of Elementary School Principals since 2005. He holds a National Principals Mentoring Certificate, and as an active mentor for principals and aspiring principals, he's ready and willing to lend an ear and offer guidance and support.

"As a mentor, I don't have to have all the answers and hand them out like rock candy at the county fair," he said. "Instead, it's my responsibility to draw out the skills and thinking of my protege."

Hall, the principal of Sheridan Elementary School in Spokane, Wash., counts Frank C. Garrity as one of his own mentors. "He taught me more through example than anything else, and his influence stays with me today," Hall said. "He ingrained in me the need for us to help students get into 'the learning mode,' he stressed our role as supervisors of students to encourage them to make positive choices, and he shared a tremendous amount of expressions that I'd never heard before! He was tough, no-nonsense, and drilled into me the perseverance to get the job done."

Now Hall is returning the favor by helping other principals and strengthening the leadership corps in the schools.

"When our leaders are tossed directly into the fire and bade good luck, they need more than just mandates, deadlines, and a set of building keys," he said. "They need guidance, support, an ear, a sounding board, and a strong relationship with someone who can help navigate the flames. That's what effective mentoring can provide."

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