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Transformative Principal is 

Jan 22, 2021

Angela Mahoney is currently the principal at Eastland Elementary School, which is part of a high-achieving, small, rural school district in the Northwest corner of Illinois. Prior to working in education, she spent many years working in the private sector. As an educator, Angela taught kindergarten, 4th, 6th and 7th grades before getting her degree in administration. During that time, she became passionate about the social-emotional needs of her students and created a course to specifically address the need for students to develop life-long success skills. 

As an administrator, she believes that the most important building block of a school is the culture and relationships created within the walls of the building, while still maintaining high academic standards. Eastland Elementary School has continued to be one of the highest achieving schools in the area on state standardized test scores. 

Angela is active in her professional community, serving on the board of the Northwest Region Illinois Principals Association, and presenting on a variety of topics at both the regional and state levels. Presentations have included innovative SEL practices, data-driven instruction, effective professional development, as well as leadership during a crisis.

She and her husband, Tom, currently live in Northern Illinois and have two daughters. Maisie, 26, leads a special projects team for a health technology company in Boston and Delaney, 23, is finishing her graduate degree in Occupational Therapy in Georgia. 

  • Started school year with kids in building.
  • The biggest block to a building is the culture.
  • When you walk in you can just tell what the culture is like.
  • Having a theme each year.
  • The hardest thing is the lack of control
  • Vulnerability it important.
  • If they’re doing great, how are they doing it?
  • How do you support a healthy culture, especially during coronavirus where there is so much challenge? 
  • The positive affirmation won’t allow us to live in the problem.
  • How do you focus on your vision for your school?
  • We focused on a positive affirmation.
  • How do you ensure that you and your staff have balance?
  • Being as healthy as you can.
  • Once a month going and doing something.
  • We need to be connected
  • Having a PLN outside your own environment.
  • How do you have those hard conversations with people who may not be thriving.
  • Be vulnerable and honest.
  • Our school feels normal because we are here every day.
  • There’s no judgment here.
  • We’re going to get through this together.
  • You have to honor however they are feeling.
  • You have to take it hour by hour and day by day.
  • What can we take away from these situations that we can apply to our leadership.
  • We want to have fun again.
  • How to be a transformative principal? Focus on what you can control. It’s time to not focus on our problems and things we can’t control. 1 thing to support the staff.



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John Catt

Today’s Transformative Principal sponsor, John Catt Educational, amplifies world-class voices on timeless topics, with a list of authors recognized globally for their fresh perspectives and proven strategies to drive success in modern schools and classrooms.

John Catt’s mission is to support high-quality teaching and learning by ensuring every educator has access to professional development materials that are research-based, practical, and focused on the key topics proven essential in today’s and tomorrow’s schools.

Learn more about professional development publications that are easy to implement for your entire faculty, and are both quickly digestible and rigorous, by visiting
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John Catt is also proud publisher of the new book from Transformative Principal host Jethro Jones: SchoolX: How principals can design a transformative school experience for students, teachers, parents – and themselves
Visit this page to learn more about bulk orders and how to bring John Catt’s research-based materials to your school: