As we wrap up National Principals Month, we wanted to take a moment to recognize and appreciate the dedication and hard work of America’s principals. It’s no secret that high-quality teachers and strong school communities are the keys to student success, both of which are made possible by great principals.
As a classroom teacher I was fortunate to experience first-hand the power of strong school leadership. Principals set and execute the vision of the school by hiring excellent teachers and staff, developing open communication with families, and modeling the school’s values through their actions. A school leader’s list of responsibilities is endless, and in my experience, there was never a job too small for my principal – whether it was managing lunch, teaching my class when I was sick, or helping me build furniture for my classroom – my school leader supported staff and students in countless ways. When I was deciding where to teach, one of the most important factors in my decision was the leadership, which is why it is critical that principals have the ability to live near their schools so they can continue this important work.
We’re excited to recognize two principals for their roles as early pioneers and champions of Landed.
The first is Principal Sean Priest of Sequoia High School in the Sequoia Union High School District. We first approached Sean when we announced Landed’s $5M Fund for educators in the Sequoia Union, Redwood City, and Ravenswood School Districts in partnership with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Sean immediately understood our objective. “Retaining great educators is essential to our ability to provide our kids with a world class education,” Sean said. “We need to help educators see a future in our community.” Sean helped us organize an info session that was attended by over 40 educators in the final, hectic days of school. Thanks to his early support, we’ve already been able to help several Sequoia Union HSD educators buy a home in the last few months, including Fidel, a veteran educator of 21 years who is currently a math teacher at Sequoia High School.
The second is Principal Joel Key of Impact Academy of Arts and Technology in Hayward, California. A lifelong educator and Bay Area native, Joel was one of our first customers. Joel had tried to buy a home for several years, even going so far as putting in a few offers. He had the income to make the monthly mortgage payments on a home, but he was putting so much of his salary into his (ever-increasing) rent, that he couldn’t save quickly enough for a down payment. He was effectively locked out of home ownership. Last year, Joel learned about Landed's down payment program through a local newspaper article covering the teacher housing crisis in the Bay Area. Over the next few months, we worked closely with Joel and helped him find his dream home in a vibrant neighborhood in Oakland, just a short drive away from his school in Hayward. “Without Landed's down payment program, it would probably have taken me years to save for a large down payment to buy a home,” says Joel.
To all of the principals, thank you for all you do.