59 Principal Quotes About the Leaders of Our Schools

Whether you have had good or bad experiences with principals, you will appreciate these principal quotes.

In America, a principal is the head of pre-university schools.

It serves as the boss of the teachers at their particular school.

A principal is responsible for supervising the teachers and providing leadership and vision to all stakeholders in the school.

Principals have always dealt with safety issues at their particular schools, but in today’s environment, they are more responsible than ever for creating a safe environment for students to learn in.

As the school’s leader, they are also responsible for ensuring that their school provides an efficient learning environment for students, as evidenced by the test scores in their particular schools.

Take a look at these principal quotes to learn more about this important job.

You will also enjoy our article on school quotes.

Best Principal Quotes

Enjoy these quotes on education and public educators.

1. “Educators are the only people who lose sleep over other people’s kids.” — Nicholas A. Ferroni

2. “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

3. “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” — Malcolm Forbes

4. “To be inspired is great, but to inspire is an honor.” — Stacey T. Hunt

5. “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” — George Washington Carver

6. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” — Nelson Mandela

7. “If we get public education right, everything else will follow. But if we get it wrong, not much else will matter.” — Steve Kagen

8. “That should be the goal, is that every kid in every neighborhood, despite whatever challenges they may face, are getting a great education in our public schools.” — Michelle Rhee

9. “Every child deserves a champion—an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” — Rita Pierson

10. “The single most important aspect of your job is to make it easy as possible for teachers to teach. All else flows from that.” — David Didau

Principal Quotes to Inspire School Leaders

Find inspiration in these quotes for leaders.

11. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” — John Quincy Adams

12. “We become leaders the day we decide to help people grow, not numbers.” — Simon Sinek

13. “Education is not the filling of a pot, but the lighting of a fire.” — W.B. Yeats

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14. “The highest result of education is tolerance.” — Helen Keller

15. “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” — Albert Einstein

16. “In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is not just a pathway to opportunity, it’s a prerequisite.” — Barack Obama

17. “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” — John Dewey

18. “Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope; hope breeds peace.” — Confucious

19. “Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.” — Japanese Proverb

20. “We need to help students and parents cherish and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity that nourishes and strengthens this community—and this nation.” — Cesar Chavez

Principal Quotes About the Responsibilities of the Job

Leading students and teachers is an important role with lots of responsibilities.

21. “Public education is an investment in our future.” — Matt Blunt

22. “Children are like wet cement; whatever falls on them makes an impression.” — Haim Ginott

23. “Public education is our greatest pathway to opportunity in America.” — Michelle Obama

24. “The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” — Mark Van Doren

25. “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” — Jack Welch

26. “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” — Martin Luther King Jr

27. “Each day, you are leading by example. Whether you realize it or not or whether it’s positive or negative, you are influencing those around you.” — Rob Liano

28. “Education system needs to be more flexible, creative and resilient that requires smarter professional collaboration and stronger student engagement across the system.” — Pasi Sahlberg

29. “The principal goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done.” — Jean Piaget

30. “The greatest impact on learning is the daily lived experiences of students in classrooms, and that is determined much more by how teachers teach than by what they teach.” — Dylan William

Principal Quotes for Leading Teachers and Staff

These quotes show the importance of leading teachers and setting them up for success in the classroom.

31. “A good teacher is like a candle—it consumes itself to light the way for others.” — Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

32. “Leadership is about protecting your staff from nonsense, about creating a culture where teaching and learning can take place, about allowing the laycyon dream to flourish.” — Sam Strickland

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33. “To lead teachers toward greater success, principals need to place both student and adult learning at the center.” — Kevin Fahey

34. “Consciously we teach what we know, unconsciously we teach who we are.” — Dr. Fiona Aubrey-Smith

35. “To me, leadership is not about necessarily being the loudest in the room, but instead being the bridge, or the thing that is missing in the discussion and trying to build a consensus from there.” — Jacinda Ardern

36. “There are lots of great jobs you can do in society, but none of them are quite as great, or quite as important, or as profound as the life of a teacher.” — Doug Lemov

37. “Teaching, it turns out, is a team sport, where teachers make each other better fastest by building culture and sharing insights.” — Doug Lemov

38. “Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students.” — Solomon Ortiz

39. “Smile every day and love the children, love the community, and respect every member of staff in the team. Teaching is the greatest job in the world.” — Chris Dyson

40. “A leader… is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.” — Nelson Mandela

Teacher and Principal Quotes from TV and Movies

Enjoy these quotes from some of your favorite television and film principals.

41. “Go to class. Learn something.” — Mr. Belding, Saved by the Bell

42. “I don’t trust this kid any further than I can throw him.” — Ed Rooney, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

43. “And if something goes wrong, it’s my head in the smasher. And these parents will come down on me like a nuclear bomb!” — Rosalie Mullins, School of Rock

44. “Why, just this week, we’ve had five suspensions for intoxication on school grounds.” — Principal Figgins, Glee

45. “If you don’t like my policies, you can come on down here and smooch my big ol’ white butt.” — Ed Rooney, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

46. “Welcome, kindergarteners, I’m Principal Sinner—Skinner! Well, that’s it; I’ve lost them forever.” — Principal Skinner, The Simpsons

47. “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” — Dumbledore, Harry Potter

48. “I cannot for the life of me understand why small children take so long to grow up. I think they do it deliberately, just to annoy me.” — Agatha Trunchbull, Matilda

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49. “Don’t mess with the bull, young man. You’ll get the horns.” — Richard Vernon, Breakfast Club

50. “In the course of your education, you have always been taught to look for the right answer. But you must also know that in life, sometimes the right answer is that there isn’t one.” — Mr. Feeny, Boy Meets World

51. “The highest and best work of imagination is the marvelous transformation that it works in character.  Imagine that you are one with the principal of good, and you will become truly good.” — Charles Fillmore

52. My goal has always been to be a principal dancer with ABT.” — Misty Copeland

53. “Conversations I have had with school principals and students lead me to the same conclusion-that…there is an evil and growing habit of profanity and the use of foul and filthy language.” — Gordon B. Hinckley

54. “If school principals have given up on the important things and are focusing on discipline, they are creating a certain, diluted reality. In an organization that functions properly, discipline should be a marginal issue.” — Itay Talgam

55. “After finding no qualified candidates for the position of principal, the school board is extremely pleased to announce the appointment of David Steele to the post.” — Philip Streifer

56. “I daydream about a high school where everybody plays the harmonica: the students, the teachers, the principal, the janitor and the cook in the cafeteria.” — Richard Brautigan

57. “But people can stand up to the school nurse; you can stand up to the teacher; you can stand up to the principal; you can stand up to them with the facts and the right books.” — Michael Savage

58. “I attended a very small junior high and specially in the end that became a disaster. The principal was pretty senile and a drunk, so the children more or less runned the school.” — Jonathan Brandis

59. “My dad was principal of a high school there. It was idyllic for a kid. I had a whole island for a backyard. I lived there until I was eight years old and we moved to Santa Barbara.” — Eric Stoltz

Requirements to Become a School Principal

Different states have different requirements for becoming a principal, but most at least require teaching experience as you will be supervising the teachers and leading the school.

Additionally, most schools require a principal to have a bachelor’s and master’s degree and even a license in school administration.

Please share these principal quotes with your family and friends and post any comments about principals in the comment section below.

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