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Passion Is A Priority: Key Leadership Levers as a Principal
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In the Spotlight: Passion is the Priority
Principal, March/April 2019. Volume 9, Number 4. NAESP Magazine Craig Martin Principal Michael J. Perkins Elementary
Boston, Massachusetts
The stats:

  • Years as a principal: 6
  • 2018 NAESP National Distinguished Principal®


  • Dillard University, Bachelor of Arts Degree, Elementary Education
  • Lesley University, Masters in Educational Administration

School details:

  • Grade span: Pre-K–5
  • 88 percent minority enrollment
  • 12 percent Scholar With Ed plan
  • 27 percent English-language learners
  • 84 percent economically challenged scholars

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Introducing himself to his fellow 2018 NAESP National Distinguished Principals®, Craig Martin wanted more than anything else to share his passion for the principalship. At South Boston’s Michael J. Perkins Elementary, the challenges his students face are the ones he has to address as school leader. “We’re going to grow—together—beyond anything that comes against us,” he says.

On managing the challenges of poverty and trauma
Each scholar we serve joins us with cultural, intellectual, social, and emotional capital we can engage; their circumstance should never dictate our level of service or care toward them. We use the tools, resources, and networks we have to create access and opportunity for every scholar to thrive within the realm of their giftedness. Additionally, our staff members collectively have participated in more than 100 hours of professional development in trauma-informed and trauma-sensitive practices, self-care, and mindfulness, and [we] created classroom “safe spaces” that encourage student self-efficacy in managing their own emotional or behavioral episodes.

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