Robin Kvalo Symbols

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An analysis of educational leadership reveals one of the many challenges facing a principal is the development of the school’s value system. The rituals of the school often demonstrate to the students, staff and community what the school values as important. The principal is often the leader of these rituals and they reaffirm the values of the school through what they attend to (Deal & Peterson, 1994, p. 30). Thus, the principal becomes a symbol of what to value and believe in. Symbolic leaders understand that their message is not “do as I do.” Rather, it is “value what I value - believe what I believe.” (Goslin, 2012) Robin Kvalo is the principal of Portage High School (PHS), a school of 800 students in central Wisconsin. While she has been a principal for over fifteen years in the Portage school district, she has only been at the PHS for four years. Robin takes great pride in her role as principal as a third generation educator in the community. She is very proud of her heritage and is often heard stating that she, “bleeds orange and black” the school colors. To Robin being a student or a teacher at PHS is not something you do; it is who you are.
When Robin became principal she developed a long list of symbols and rituals that she wanted in her building. Many of these
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She instituted a Veterans Day Ceremony that involves the local VFW and is now the biggest in the county. Throughout this ceremony Robin leads the students, staff, and community in the recognition of our veterans and importance they play in our daily lives as Americans. As a reflection of these values, Robin gives the morning announcement everyday and starts them with the Pledge of Allegiance. She, also, coordinates the Portage Area Color Guard at home football games. Through these rituals, Robin celebrates the local heroes and heroines to serve as role models for our students (Deal & Peterson, 1994, p.

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