Episode 33 – Mark French – Share your Passions

Adam DeWittPrincipal Leadership Lab Podcast

Join Adam & Jeff as we chat with former Principal of Gatewood Elem. in Hopkins School District, MN – Mark French!

Mark is also an author, having written the book, “Principals in Action” w/ Jay Posick & Ryan Sheehy.

What’s your leadership story?

  • Started in Houston, TX
  • First taught in 1984
  • Tells principals or teachers now – contact a former principal or teacher to tell them how much they mean to you
  • 38.5 years in education
  • Transition to Retirement
  • I’m sure you aren’t retiring,  – will you be repurposing?  What will you do first?
  • Will be moving to Vancouver, Washington


  • What advice do you have for principals that are within 10yrs of retirement?  How do you plan and prepare for retirement?
  • “Principals in Action” story
  • Started with Adam Welcome, setting out challenges to principals to “Get Out of the Office”
  • Principals in Action Voxer group is ongoing
  • #piachat on Twitter; Tuesday nights

Leadership struggle

  • We have to be able to share our vulnerabilities.
  • Received all UNSAT is an evaluation
  • Others have shared similar struggles
  • Willing to remove blind spots
  • Reach out to others

Advice for New Principals

  • Find things that will bring you joy and hopeful
  • Share those passions!
  • Don’t let this be an isolating position – find people
  • Don’t compare yourself with others


  • “I am hopeful because of what teachers are doing now”
  • Passion & Empathy & Compassion I am seeing from everyone in the field right now, and that they will carry




Dr. Jeff Prickett

Adam DeWitt



Dr. Jeff Prickett

Adam DeWitt




Principal Leadership Lab

Dr. Jeff Prickett

Adam DeWitt


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