This ‘principal’ gets a reminder what makes a great day (Sun-Times Media)

by Emily McFarlan Miller

It was my first duty as “Principal for a Day” at Highland Elementary School, and I blew it.

Highland Principal Steve Johnson had asked in advance if I would be comfortable reading the announcements over the school intercom during my half-day visit Thursday to the east-side Elgin elementary school. Sure, I’d said. I’d read the announcements periodically at my high school.

Johnson even had given me a script. All I had to do was read it into the phone receiver in the school office, then hold the phone for the trio of first-graders reciting the pledge of allegiance and Highland “High-5.”

Afterward, I went to hang up the phone. I hadn’t mispronounced any words or butchered anybody’s name. I thought I’d done a pretty good job.

That’s when first-grader Christopher Flores’ eyes widened behind his tiny wire-rimmed glasses.

“Have a great day!” Christopher hissed.

I hadn’t wished everyone a great day. Now it was ruined. Probably the Spring Holiday on Friday was ruined — maybe even the whole weekend. I could tell by the scandalized look on his face.

This was my second year taking part in Elgin School District U46’s “Principal for a Day” program; this year, co-principaling Highland with Lisa La Forge, executive director of Family Service Association of Greater Elgin Area. You’d think I’d be improving.

But Johnson said it’s taken him eight years to hit his stride at the school, his first principalship. And that’s only because, he said, there are a lot of great people at Highland, as well as the surrounding community.

For the rest of the story, read This ‘principal’ gets a reminder what makes a great day (Sun-Times Media).

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