It’s Back to School Time: Leadership Kickoff Event Inspires Principals, Administrators

Students may spend the last few weeks splashing in the pool, going on adventures at camp, and sleeping past 7:00 a.m., but school principals are already in back-to-school mode. 

They have spent the last month and a half preparing for the new school year. In fact, many started well before the school year even ended. 

Principals, assistant principals, and administrators from across the Cobb County School District recently met at McEachern High School to officially kick off the 2019-2020 school year. Like students on their first day of school, the Cobb leadership visited with old friends and met new friends. They laughed and discussed plans for the new year. 

To help inspire the Cobb School leaders, motivational speaker Tony Ingle shared the story of his long heart-wrenching quest to become a national champion basketball coach. 

“When the dream is big enough, the obstacles are small enough to overcome,” Coach Ingle reminded the educators.  

He encouraged the principals to focus on the individual student, understand the struggles students face, and to be the inspiration that his high school basketball coach was for him so many years before. He also told the principals to smile, just as he did and does to get through the difficult times. 

“If you are down, you can’t lift others up,” the national champion advised.   

Cobb Schools Superintendent Chris Ragsdale also inspired the group of school leaders. The Superintendent encouraged the principals to have high expectations for not just their staff, but for themselves as well.  

The historic 8-12.6% raise for every non-temporary staff member is one way the Cobb County School District “takes care of our people”—an important priority Superintendent Ragsdale expressed at the Leadership Kickoff Event. 

“We must make sure that we focus on the team first. We all have to be focused as a team to continue Cobb’s tradition of success,” Superintendent Ragsdale said. 

It is inspiring to learn that Forbes magazine named Cobb Schools the top K-12 employer in Georgia, he told the educators. He praised the school leaders for their role in the district earning the high accolades and ranking among national brands like Home Depot and Google.  

Although Cobb Schools may be one of the top 25 places to work in Georgia, Superintendent Ragsdale acknowledged the struggles principals face in exceeding Cobb’s already-great reputation for success in the classroom.  

“Student success is not our one goal because it is easy. It is our one goal for our one team because it is most important,” Superintendent Ragsdale said. “Encourage, care, inspire, lead—That’s how we reach our one goal. Student Success.”