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Finish Strong

Updated: Dec 16, 2019

As we approach the end of another school year, what is on your mind? Are you hiring teachers for next year? Are you engaging in a Board Retreat or Admin Evaluation? Are you enjoying the end of year school activities or feeling stressed with all that must be done? Possibly all of the above!

You can finish strong, for your school and for yourself.

Top 10 strategies for charter school leaders

How does a charter school leader manage it all and still finish strong? Here are my Top 10 strategies for finishing strong. What works for you? Please share you comments below! You may have the one tip that works for someone else.

  1. Plan your vacation. Be sure you can arrange to be completely “off” for some time, to refresh and reset for the new year.

  2. Celebrate the students and staff members you have today. Many of them will not be with you next year.

  3. Establish and appreciate community-building events, like school picnics, volunteer appreciation events, academic award assemblies, and graduation ceremonies. Enjoy the moment. Don’t skip out to finish something else on your list.

  4. Review your accomplishments for the year and set personal goals for next year.

  5. Organize your office. Clear out old files and check off your to-do lists.

  6. Make your book-reading list for the summer – include some just-for-fun books!

  7. Choose three people from the past year who supported you in a meaningful way, and show your appreciation. Let these people know what their support meant to you.

  8. Choose one opportunity for learning and improving your own professional practice and commit to making it happen.

  9. Take a walk around your campus and enjoy the people you meet. Don’t let yourself make that mental to-do list this time. Let it go and just connect with the people you serve.

  10. Purchase that one new tool or gadget that you’ve been wanting. Come on, you deserve it!


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Whether you plan to be back next year or you are moving on to a new adventure, the ending of a school year is always a major milestone. Take care of yourself so you can take care of all the people who are depending on you. You can finish strong, for your school and for yourself.


Peggy Downs works with school leaders who want to leverage grants to dramatically increase funding, impact, and credibility for their schools. More info and a ton of free resources are waiting for you at:

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