Transformative Principal
An interview style podcast discussing how to be a transformative educational leader in the K-12 setting.

Bob Sonju is the Director of K–12 Learning in Washington School District in Southern Utah.

In this first part of the interview, we discuss the following:

  • A little about Bob’s history and what he learned to help him become prepared for being a transformative principal.
  • Bob focuses on making sure all students are doing their best, not just particular subgroups.
  • What prepared Bob to be a principal: being a coach and a special education teacher.
  • What barriers prevent a school from being ready for change.
  • Three fundamentals that are needed to change:
    1. Why do we exist
    2. Describing a perfect school
    3. What are we going to do to make sure we get there!
  • Conversations about structural change take time and informal and formal conversations with teachers, students, parents, and other stakeholders.
  • All the voices have to be in the room!
  • Establishment of norms are critical for the success of our school, and while we want to hear everyone’s concerns, we will move forward with the will of the group.
  • The norms for Bob’s schools.
  • The need for “critical friends”.
  • How he deals with the fact of hearing that he is doing something wrong.
  • One of the best interview questions: “Anticipate a mistake you are going to make, and how you will resolve that!”

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