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Principal Leadership . The Leader in Me ADP647 Jay Zingley. My Background. After graduating from Penn State with a BS in Secondary Education Social Studies, I entered the insurance industry as an auto appraiser, then property adjuster and finally a property supervisor for 25 years.

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Principal leadership

Principal Leadership

The Leader in Me

ADP647 Jay Zingley

My background
My Background

  • After graduating from Penn State with a BS in Secondary Education Social Studies, I entered the insurance industry as an auto appraiser, then property adjuster and finally a property supervisor for 25 years.

Teaching experience
Teaching experience

  • I substituted for those 25 years and then I went back to college in 2008 to reactivate my Social Studies certificate at De Sales University. There I was advised to continue on for Master’s in Education and I included 4 courses in ESL in order to get an endorsement in ESOL. While I was there one of my teachers told me “Have I got a job for you!”

  • And so I started my teaching career

  • Not in Social Studies but as an Itinerate ESL teacher in a Vocational Technical School. It was the neatest thing. Not only could I play with different machines while working with my students, but I also was learning about everything a vocational technical school has to offer. I worked there for ASD for 3 years until due to budgetary issues they decided not send me there all day. Then my now boss who was my teacher at DeSales, said “have I got a job for you!” I became a Social Studies teacher at the Newcomer Academy a grant funded school for ESL students new to The United States.

The seven habits
The Seven Habits

  • Each week we were asked to focus on a different habit.

  • The first being proactive. My top 10 proactive habits of a principal are

  • When confronted with a problem or issue: Let’s look at our alternatives.

  • I can always choose a different approach.

  • I choose how I feel.

  • I’ll try to influence them.

  • I choose to do that.

  • I choose

  • I prefer,( I prefer to be an administrator in an urban school district)

  • I will get the community involved in my school.

  • I want to set up parent help sessions in order that they can help their children continue to learn and practice concepts that they learn in school.

  • Understand that the only constant in life is change

    ELCC Standard 1-6

Habits continued
Habits continued

  • Beginning with the end in mind, I always try to work backwards from the result I am looking for then work on what it will take to get there.

  • Putting first things first, what is important and urgent and what is important and not urgent, this is the way I try to hand my work and personal life. There is too much going on to get bogged down with the not urgent and not important information.

    ELCC: 4,5 (habit 2) and then 1,2 (habit 3)

The 7 habits continued
The 7 habits continued

  • Along my journey to become a principal I have encountered many trust issues. The first thing you need to do in any relationship is create trust. Build on that emotional bank so that if you need to make a withdrawal you can. I have built a lot of trust with my students and guiding them in their studies of Social Studies and the English Language.

I have always thought I was good listener, but when I completed the benchmark for the 7 habits I found that I was not as good of a listener as I thought I was. So in trying to understand my level one ESL students I had to listen better to what they were saying and asking, and then I understood and then I sought understanding from them from their perspective.

ELCC Standard 4,5 and 6

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts 1 1 3
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. 1 +1=3

  • Synergize. In my old line of work as an adjuster I worked through a lot of compromises. I was always using synergy to accomplish something good for all, the customer, the insurance carrier, my boss, and for myself (so I could keep my job). In education, I have had to use synergy with my colleagues and work on student performance, by finding the best solution for all combined when it came to testing and learning English.

    ELCC #6

My experience in synergizing in an academic setting was a bit different. I had been following a student in my class who had exhibited behavior swings from being a very good engaging student to one who would say and do the wrong things such as bullying and physically fighting with other students. Unfortunately finding a solution to his problem was very complicated and not one that I or any else could synergistically address before he was involved in another altercation and was put on out of school suspension with possible expulsion only to find out that he had become suicidal. I tried to emphasis the idea of making better choices, positive choices for his life. I showed him how choices have good and bad consequences.

Sharpen the saw
Sharpen the saw

  • I spoke to my acting principal and she had never truly sharpened her saw. She did part of it, she ate healthy, made promises to the students and kept them, did not take time to work on the natural spirit (i.e. work with nature), she was always building relationships with students never had time to read something just for herself.

Well, this past week she took the time especially when our student who was on out of school suspension, decided to become suicidal, she decided enough and she needed to work on the saw, she came in by the end of the week with a new perspective and a new drive to continue being proactive and working towards new goals for the school.


Bringing it all together
Bringing it all together

You know the toughest thing is to try and bring a school together. You need to work at it one step at a time. First you get the teachers to work with you, then the students, then the parents and finally the community. The most difficult part is the vision you have for your school and making that vision a reality.

Bringing it all together1
Bringing it all together

  • The following ELCC standards are involved with Habit 1 being proactive, standards 1-6,

  • Habits 2 and 3, beginning with the end in mind and putting first things first go with Standards 2,4,5, & 6

  • Habits 4 seek first to understand, then to be understood, could be referenced to standard 1 & 3 Where we are to promote the district vision (first to understand, then understood), then convey this to the school and community

Win win

  • Thinking win-win refers to standard 4 collaborating with family and the community to promote the success of all students

  • Synergizing brings it all together with standard 6 where the educational leaders respond to and influence the larger political, social, economic, legal and cultural context.

  • These are not negotiation of ideas but making all parts work together.


  • All of my experiences and learning the 7 habits has helped me develop an attitude that I want to make an impact in my career as educator and educational leader.

  • Taking care of the small things, the bigger things will take care of themselves. I have found that the little things make the big things run smoother and gain more academic success.

Future directions
Future directions

  • One of my assignments for the summer is to work out a program of utilizing the 7 Habits for Teens, in our curriculum with the ESL students, and create a professional development class for the fall on “seeking first to understand, then to be understood”.

  • In the long range I hope to continue working on improving my “7 habits” so that I can make an impact at what ever school I get a position as an administrator.

I leave you with this
I leave you with this….

  • Take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves.

  • Make an impact with your life in whatever position you are in teacher or administrator

  • Following the 7 Habits will enhance your ability to lead in any part of your life.