Tell us about yourself?
This is my first year in Beijing. I am originally from Denver, Colorado, USA, although I have not lived in the US for over 20 years, as my husband and my career path has changed us into global nomads. We have one 27-year-old daughter, who is currently also living in Beijing. It’s the first time we have actually lived in the same city for quite some time.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Who was your childhood hero?
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be, just definitely not a princess, ballerina, or some other “girly” thing. One of my childhood heroes was Abraham Lincoln.
What kind of student were you as a child (e.g. the troublemaker, teacher’s pet, class clown, etc)?
I was more or less a teacher’s pet, but when I got bored, I did cause trouble in the class, which sometimes surprised my teachers.
Did you ever get sent to the principal’s office? Why?
Yes, because I refused to say the pledge of allegiance on the grounds that the United States did not have, as stated in the pledge, “liberty and justice for all." We both agreed that they could not make me say something I didn’t want to say.
What was your image of the school principal when you were a student? How do you describe your image now?
I thought the principal was someone you had to go to when you got into trouble, and I was fortunate to mostly never make their acquaintance! As far as my image, I am much more approachable and visible than that.
What kind of jobs did you have before becoming a principal?
I started off in education as a German teacher and have held many other school roles in the past 20 years, including English teacher, IT teacher and a librarian.
What is a typical day like in the life of a principal?
There don’t seem to be typical days, although one usual activity is looking into classes and seeing what the students are learning.
What job would you want to do if you were not a principal?
I would be a school consultant for accreditation. I like learning how other people solve educational issues.
In all your time as an educator, what is the most important lesson you’ve learned?
As my learning journey has taken me many places which have all had different cultures and ways of doing things, I think the most important thing is to realize that there are many solutions to problems and your own is not always the best one.
Meet the Principal/Headmaster is a new beijingkids blog series designed to give the Beijing community a better understanding of who our education leaders are in our city. If your school is interested in being featured in our Meet the Principal/Headmaster blog series, please contact the School Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo courtesy of Jane Krader