• Sarah Hunko

The Ways You Wowed Us in 2020


Principals are used to intense challenges, but this school year has brought profound leadership, logistical, instructional, personnel, and safety challenges that would make even the most seasoned leader’s head spin. They have had to adapt to almost constant uncertainty from every direction, and they have had to keep a steady ship throughout it all. We see you, principals, and we appreciate you. As your coaches, advisors, and friends here at Fulcrum, we thank you, we salute you, and offer our best support as we dive into the rest of this most tumultuous school year together.


Here are just a few things we saw you do that knocked our socks off in 2020:

  • You continued to prioritize adult development and instruction during a global pandemic.

  • You called and checked in on staff countless times.

  • You gave time for teachers to discuss, process, and share without judgment or evaluation.

  • You empowered teachers to run team meetings with strong support and preparation and in alignment with your ILT.

  • You created new ways to reach teachers, differentiating PD and using asynchronous methods, to make sure new needs were getting met.

  • You made space for suffering (instead of acting like things were normal).

  • You created so many ways to share best practices for remote learning.

  • You made home visits to make sure students were showing up.

  • You built new schedules to give teachers more time for planning and to make more sense for students, especially when it came to small-group instruction.

  • You made new dashboards to keep your many priorities in sight, and so you could better delegate tasks to your teams.

  • You held virtual town halls to make sure parents knew how they could best partner with your school.

  • You recorded so many video messages to keep staff and parents in the loop.

  • You coached teams of teachers to improve equity in the remote learning space.

  • You made sense of in-person learning planning, even when it didn’t entirely make sense.

  • You stood resolutely for equity and anti-racism. You started PLCs and sent strong messages of unity, solidarity, and calls for change.

  • You participated in PD alongside teachers.

  • You minimized and streamlined meetings for your teams whenever you could.

  • You buffered people from wasting their time by taking on tasks or rethinking what was expected.

  • You sought out teacher voices before making tough decisions, affirming and supporting their crucial place in the school.

  • You let your teams see your vulnerability.

  • You kept your focus on the people and relationships that mattered most.

  • You made sure everyone was safe.

Thank you for your courageous, strategic, and empathetic leadership in 2020, and we know 2021 will be no different. We see you, principals, and we are so lucky to have you leading our schools.