Editor’s note: Answering The Purcell Register’s five questions this week is Carol Testa, Purcell Junior High School principal.
Q: Why did you want to be a junior high school principal?
A: After 20-plus years of teaching and coaching, I started to think about what I wanted to do with the rest of my professional career. I liked my current position as a teacher/coach, but I felt I should be doing something more. I began searching for new ways I could be more impactful to the students of my school.
In a conversation with my supervisor, he suggested I get my principal’s certificate. It took me a couple of years for that conversation to sink in and three more years to complete the process of a principal’s certification. During this time, I began to look beyond just teaching/mentoring the students in my classroom and expanded my work to helping the entire school.
Serving in different capacities in my school allowed me to develop even more relationships with students beyond those developed in the classroom or through sports.
Athletics has always been a huge part of my personal and professional career, but I am beyond excited to also be working in this capacity as junior high principal.
Q: What do you want your legacy to be?
A: I hope I am remembered as a person who helped students along the path of achieving their goals and in some instances helped students discover unthought of paths, just like my supervisor did for me.
Q: What is the biggest challenge in this new role?
A: By far it’s wearing so many different hats. Building principals are responsible for so many things. I am a person who likes to take on a single task and work until it’s completed. As the principal, I often have to refocus on a task that requires my immediate attention. Being redirected constantly throughout the day has been challenging, but at the end of the day I know it’s what’s best for our students.
Q: What is the greatest reward of being a principal?
A: So far I have really enjoyed building relationships with our students and staff. The one thing I enjoy most during the day is getting into classrooms and watching teachers working with students. I think observing teaching and learning will always be one of the most enjoyable parts of my day.
Q: What is something about you that others don’t know?
A: I am a classically trained pianist. My piano teacher had high hopes I would go to college and major in music. Though that didn’t happen, I still enjoy playing for my family and friends.