Editor’s note: Answering The Purcell Register’s five questions this week is Purcell High School Principal Jason Sanders.
Q: What challenges come with the job?
A: Every day is unique and presents its own challenges. I would say the greatest challenge is juggling so many things at once. Fortunately I have an amazing staff including classroom teachers as well as support and office staff. Time management is easily the biggest challenge. You can plan your day as much as you want but kids come first and you have to always make them a priority.
Q: What is your management style?
A: I don’t really think of it as a management style so I guess I don’t have one! A principal’s most important job is to build a cohesive vision amongst all individuals connected to the school: students, teachers, staff, parents, community members, district leadership, etc. It’s hard because everyone has a stake and interest in the school and cares about its success. Sometimes those interests aren’t completely compatible. It’s the job of a principal to establish a vision that is centered around one goal: ALL students succeeding. It’s one goal that we can all agree upon.
Q: Have you always wanted to be a school administrator?
A: No. I started my career working on a U.S. Senate staff in the mid 1990s. However I decided to switch courses in my late 20s and wanted to teach and coach. My high school football coach, Mike Sperry in Shawnee was a huge influence in my life and I wanted to be like him. So I became a history teacher and a coach.
I decided to become an administrator while working in a program called AVID at Norman High School about eight years ago. I realized I could be more impactful in improving the learning experiences of students.
Q: Is yours a job that you take home with you at the end of the day?
A: I do try my best to leave my job at work. The job however has a way of following you home. No matter how tough a day I always come to work the next day reminding myself that we are here for the kids.
Q: What hobby do you enjoy away from school?
A: I love to fish and hike and enjoy traveling to Colorado when we can. I enjoy following and supporting my wife’s soccer program in the spring. I also love to read. I used to play golf but it just takes up too much time!