Tag Archives: principal

PMP:081 Leadership, Courage and Caution Lights for Principals

This past week I hosted a webinar for principals as a part of a book study over Principal Matters: The Motivation, Action, Courage and Teamwork Needed for School Leaders.

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In 2012, after being named Oklahoma’s Assistant Principal of the Year, I was asked to share ideas with new or aspiring leaders in graduate classes, workshops and conferences. And I was being asked a lot of the same questions about the pressures, challenges, and strategies involved in being a school administrator. So, I decided to start blogging about those issues. Eventually these same ideas became topics for my first book. Continue reading

Jazzing Up Announcements: 5 Steps To Publishing a Powtoon

Our school has a large screen in the commons area where we keep a slideshow going of our latest school announcements.


I know some great programs exist for creating cool slides, but I have been impressed with the free program available through powtoon.com. Continue reading

Interview with Steven Parker

The following is a Q & A between Steven Parker and me.

Steven Parker, Virginia M.S. Principal of the Year

Steven Parker, Virginia M.S. Principal of the Year

Steven Parker is the principal of Cedar Lee Middle School in Bealton, Virginia. He was also named the 2013 Virginia Middle School Principal of the Year.

My goal in posting interviews with successful school leaders like Steven is to inspire us to reflect on how our own choices, goals, and actions can affect our lives, our leadership, and our teams. I must also give credit to John Lee Dumas whose great podcast interview questions I have modified for the Q & A’s I have with my guests. Continue reading

Interview with James Holifield

The following is a Q & A exchange between James Holifield and me.

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James Holifield, Indiana Middle School Principal of the Year

James “Jim” Holifield is the principal at New Prairie Middle School in New Carlisle, Indiana. As the Indiana Middle School Principal of the Year, he represented his state this year at the NASSP Middle School Principals of the Year awards ceremony in Washington D.C. I am very excited he agreed to share his insights on school leadership. Continue reading

Welcome to Principal Matters

Thanks for taking time to visit Principal Matters, where you can find resources, insights, and inspiration for school leadership!

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William D. Parker Bio
Will is currently the principal of Skiatook High School, near Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.A. He grew up a farm boy from west Tennessee who never thought he would go to college. But he loved to learn and eventually found himself in Oklahoma with a degree in hand and classrooms full of students who taught him more about teaching (and life) than he ever expected.

He has been an educator for twenty years, first as a high school English teacher, then as a high school assistant principal, and now as a high school principal. He earned his Bachelor’s in English Education from Oral Roberts University and his Masters of Education from NorthEastern State University. He was named Broken Arrow’s South Intermediate High School Teacher of the Year in 1998. And in 2012, was named the Oklahoma Assistant Principal of the Year.

On the home front, he has been happily married for twenty years to Missy. They are the proud parents of four children: three girls and one boy. You can read his blog, Principal Matters, where his goal is to inspire innovative ideas for school leaders. He is also a contributing writer for ConnectedPrincipals.com.

In 2014, Will released his first book, Principal Matters: The Motivation, Courage, and Action Needed For School Leadership. George Couros describes him by saying: “Will is a great storyteller, and his use of these connections makes his book easy to read but also memorable. His focus on ‘purpose’–going beyond what you do in school–is something that all leaders should really consider if they are going to make a difference in both their professional and personal lives.”

William speaks regularly at presentations, workshops, and conferences. You can find free resources and posts for school leaders at his website: williamdparker.com, where he posts weekly updates to help you grow in your effectiveness.

Speaking:
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Interested in having William speak to your organization, staff, or leadership team? He loves to encourage school leaders, aspiring school leaders or student groups with innovative ideas on leadership development. Check out his Keynote Presentation Highlight Doc.

Popular Previous Conferences/Presentations/Awards:

January 2016, OAESP Mid-Winter Conference, Midwest City, Oklahoma: Closing Keynote Speaker.

December 2015, Cleveland High School Student Council, Cleveland, Oklahoma: Essential Lessons for Student Leaders Guest Speaker.

December 2015, Platt College Mid-Year Graduation Ceremony, Tulsa, Oklahoma: Guest Speaker.

November 2015, Glenpool Public Schools Administrative Team & Curriculum Development Committee, Guest Speaker.

November 2015, Tulsa Community College K-12 Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma: Understanding Your Purpose in School Leadership Presentation.

October 2015, OASSP Fall Conference, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Closing Keynote Presentation.

September 2015, Eighth Floor Advisory Council Luncheon, Tulsa Technology Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma: Guest Speaker.

September 2015, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Bartlesville, Oklahoma: School of Education: Guest Presenter.

August 2015, OSSBA President’s Dinner, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Guest Speaker.

June 2015, CCOSA Summer Conference, Edmond, Oklahoma: Break-out Session on release of new book Principal Matters.

May 2015, Tulsa Community College K-12, Tulsa, Oklahoma: Understanding Your Purpose in School Leadership Presentation.

March & April 2015, CCOSA Aspiring Principals Workshop I & II, Tulsa Technology Center, Tulsa Oklahoma: Workshop for new or aspiring assistant principals or principals.

January 2015, Tulsa Community College K-12, Tulsa, Oklahoma: Helping Schools Manage Grief Presentation.

March & April 2014 CCOSA Aspiring Principals Workshop I & II, Tulsa Technology Center, Tulsa Oklahoma: Guest Presenter.

October & November 2013, CCOSA Aspiring Principals Workshop I & II, Tulsa Technology Center, Tulsa Oklahoma: Guest Presenter.

June 2012, CCOSA Summer Conference, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Mentor 180 Presentation, Strategies for Reaching At-Risk Students. Guest Presenter.

December 2013, Principal Leadership Graduate Education, Northeastern State University, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma: Guest Speaker.

October & November 2012, CCOSA Aspiring Principals Workshop I & II, Tulsa Technology Center, Tulsa Oklahoma: Guest Presenter.

April 2012, NASSP Assistant Principal of the Year Reception and Awards Ceremony, Washington, D.C.: Recipient of the Oklahoma Assistant Principal of the Year Award.

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8 Hats For Highly Effective Principals: An introduction to Will’s book, Principal Matters, this presentation has been described by participants as motivating, inspiring, and instructive. Learn the key responsibilities every school leader must embrace for highly effective leadership. Explore strategies for dealing with difficult people, setting key responsibility areas for your staff, and communicating effectively with stakeholders. Find out how to turn patrons and parents into raving fans of what’s happening at your school!

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Conference Speaking/Presentations

Aspiring Principal Workshops: In conjunction with principal association, CCOSA, William has presented frequently on ways for emerging leaders to recognize the most important elements of school leadership, and how to prepare themselves for the road ahead by asking the right questions and choosing practical strategies for school management.

How School Leaders Can Effectively Manage Crisis and Grief: This presentation comes from the unfortunate hands-on experiences Will’s schools have experienced with crisis and grief connected to student tragedy. Communicating with stakeholders, dealing with media inquiries, and preparing staff for walking through the difficulties of school grief are some of the topics explored with communication and media release samples provided.

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Understanding Your Purpose & Goal Setting For Success: This is an intensive, hands-on, question/answer based workshop for those who want to really dig deep into the root issues surrounding their motivations for leadership. It is also a guided time for exploration, discussion, and consultation on goal-setting, self-improvement, and strategy discussion on how to lead while avoiding burnout.

You can contact William via email: Williamdp {at} gmail {dot} com for more information!

Principal Matters–The Book!
Principal Matters (Final) 3D
School leaders are very busy, so each of the twenty-four chapters is designed as a quick-read and followed with take-action questions for follow-up or reflection. If you want practical ideas on understanding your purpose, managing school teams, dealing with challenges, and leading with courage, action, motivation, and teamwork, go HERE to pick up a copy for you or your team.

Will’s Interviews With Great Leaders:
Be sure to check out all Will’s guest interviews from leaders in the field of education as well as leaders within their own fields who are inspiring.

Will’s Book Recs:
Looking for an inspiring read? Check out Will’s list of recommended books, many of them hand picked by the great guest leaders he has interviewed.

Most Popular Posts/Topics:
Here are some of William’s most popular posts:
Motivation by Wonder and Purpose
Interview with Ruby Payne
7 Ways To Show Appreciation for Teachers
6 Tips For Dealing With Difficult People
10 Tips For Interviewing For An Education Position
10 Lessons On Leadership from Seabiscuit
Keeping Perspective During Difficulties
Interview with Jon Gordon
8 Ways to Discipline with Dignity
7 ‘First Days of School’ Questions
Part 1: Lessons From The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
Part 2: Lessons From The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
Learning from Other People’s Expertise
10 Ways To Communicate About Your School
Interview with Daniel Wong
Lesson from a Cross-Walk Guard

Some More Personal Posts:
Occasionally, Will posts something more personal than professional:
Spring Time Memories
That’s What We Do In Oklahoma
Thoughts on My Father
Why Vacation is Important
4 Caution-Lights For School Leaders
Purpose Motivated Leadership
Planting, Growing, Flourishing

More About William D. Parker
From Will: I grew up as a farm boy from west Tennessee who never thought he would go to college. But I love to learn, and eventually I found myself in Oklahoma with a degree in hand and classrooms full of students who taught me more about teaching (and life) than I ever expected. After more than a decade in school administration, I am passionate about school leadership development!

On the home front, my wife and I have been happily married for twenty years and are the proud parents of four children: three girls and one boy.

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Principal Matters–The Book!

Principal Matters (Final) 3D
School leaders are very busy, so each of the twenty-four chapters is designed as a quick-read and followed with take-action questions for follow-up or reflection. If you want practical ideas on understanding your purpose, managing school teams, dealing with challenges, and leading with courage, action, motivation, and teamwork, go HERE to pick up a copy for you or your team.
You can also connect through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or GooglePlus accounts.