Business leaders and local residents in the Santa Clarita Valley community enjoyed the 25th annual Principal for a Day event, which allowed participants to spend a morning shadowing a local principal or district administrator.
Sponsored by the Santa Clarita Valley Education Foundation, the annual event allows school and district administrators the opportunity to provide the community with a first-hand perspective of the local educational environment at each grade level.
This year’s event raised more than $15,000 thanks to the 45 shadows who participated, , said Jackie Hartmann, executive director of the SCV Education Foundation. The funds will be used to sponsor various SCV Education Foundation events, programs and scholarships.
Katie Demsher, principal of Mountainview Elementary School, said she enjoyed the opportunity to showcase the campus to her shadow, Jackie Stein, an employee of Remo Inc. — a premier drum company in the area.
“They’ve done a lot of work with the district’s drumming program,” which benefits many students, including those with special needs, Demsher said. It was nice that Stein got to see Mountainview and how the drum program is benefitting the students directly, and she even offered to provide more to the school after noticing some things that we might need.
“Obviously, anytime we can partner with the community to gain resources, then we should, because our school district — like many in the area — has an ongoing challenge with state funding,” Demsher said. “We’re continuing to do more with less every year so the more we can make those connections, then the more businesses can help their future employees.”
After visiting classrooms, watching hip-hop dance routines and scoping a few other programs that are available at the school, the pair headed to the luncheon, “where the community and educators come together and share different experiences,” Demsher said.
In years past, superintendents and teachers have answered questions, but this year, the luncheon highlighted the new high school out in Castaic.
“We also acknowledge the second and third inductees into the hall of fame,” Demsher said, referring to inductees Tom Lee and Donna Avila.
Mariam Nasiry, a school and community development officer with the California Credit Union, served as a shadow on Friday to Canyon High School principal Shellie Holcombe.
“She introduced me to the staff, the new pathway programs, and I even got to experience a rally,” Nasiry said. “It really gave me a perspective of how a school is run. As a parent of a high schooler, you don’t realize how much goes into the school on a day-to-day basis.”
Last year, Nasiry was shadowing at the district office, “but I really enjoyed this year because I was able to see the impact principals have on these kids,” she said. “I’m glad I had the opportunity because there’s so much going on and you don’t know how many hats a principal, administrator or teacher wears until you experience it for yourself.”
“It’s a wonderful way to give back and help the students build 21st century skills,” Demsher said.