The annual Principal For a Day event is scheduled for Wednesday, March 9 at almost 40 schools throughout the Santa Maria Valley.  This is an opportunity for Chamber members to shadow a principal for the morning at a school campus to learn more about the challenges facing educators.  The educators, in turn, receive input from business leaders about their own perspective on the “business of education.”  The Principal For a Day program has been a valuable activity to help connect the business and education communities, and is cosponsored by both the Santa Maria Valley Chamber & Visitor and Convention Bureau and the Santa Maria Valley Industry Education Council (SMVIEC.)

Reservations for school sites are made on a first come, first served basis.  Chamber members may call Peggy Greer, SMVIEC Liaison, at 349-0443 or for more information, or to select a school site.  Participants will be sent a confirmation letter plus school information and maps.

When asked what most surprised our business participants last year, we received the following comments:

Ž The amount of time each teacher spent with core or focus groups was remarkable.

Ž The current academic performance of students and how much improvement had been accomplished.

Ž The way federal and state governments are rating schools.

Ž  The enthusiasm of the teachers and their desire to help the students be the best they can be, whether they are college-bound or headed for the workforce.

Participants were also asked what they felt the greatest needs were at the school:

Ž Parent involvement!

Ž The government needs to understand how budget cuts impact our schools, our teachers and our students.

Ž Funding for extra curricular activities.

School principals were also asked to comment on what seemed to have the greatest impact on the business leader:

Ž  My guest was impressed with what the students were learning at each grade level, especially in kindergarten.

Ž  Meeting and speaking with the students.  My guest was able to experience firsthand what principals do on an average day.

Ž Classroom visits, budget information and discipline situations.  The number of students in a classroom.

School principals said the most important thing they learned about was:

Ž  Our guest had a sincere interest in what we do each day and a desire to support our work.

Ž  It is good to have community leaders in our school to see both positive and challenging situations.

Ž The importance of developing relationships with our community partners.

As you can see, the Principal For a Day activity offers a unique perspective on public education.  We hope you will come see what is new and exciting in education as we work with tomorrow’s workforce.  We look forward to seeing you on March 9!

Reservations to visit a school can be made by filling out this form. For questions, about the program, call Peggy Greer at 349-0443 or email her at  Reservations for the luncheon meeting that follows must be made separately. The cost is $17 per person. You can make those reservations by clicking here. For questions on the luncheon, contact Marcy Lariz at 925-2403 ext. 816 or