Business and Civic Leaders Head to the Principal’s Office to Become ‘PRINCIPALS for a DAY’

Oct 18 10:06 2007 Erick Laseca Print This Article

Over 170 members of the business community to shadow principals

SAN DIEGO – It’s back to school for over 170 San Diego area business executives,Guest Posting as they are matched with San Diego Unified School District principals to become “Principal for a Day” on October 19.  The program is sponsored by Merrill Lynch, supported by San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and the San Diego Padres and coordinated by San Diego Unified.  The Principal for a Day program joins business executives with school principals to foster a new spirit of civic involvement and commitment to San Diego public schools.  Locally, Principal for a Day was launched in the early 90’s in an effort to keep the business community in touch with educational needs. 

"San Diego's public schools have done an outstanding job forging a strong partnership with the region's business and civic communities," said Mayor Jerry Sanders. "The 'Principal for a Day' program recognizes that preparing today's students for tomorrow's workforce is a vital investment in San Diego's future."

Each year, volunteers contribute more than 990,000 hours. Their time is valued at nearly $19 million.  For many guest principals, it will be years since they have set foot on a school site – for some, it will be their first visit to a San Diego Unified campus.

“Merrill Lynch is pleased to participate in the Principal for a Day program, both in San Diego and nationally, because it provides our employees with a unique opportunity to interact and connect with children and professionals of the community, said Eddy Bayardelle, president of the Merrill Lynch Foundation.  “Together, we are forming strong partnerships between business people and educators.”

The program allows business executives and civic leaders to spend a half day working on campus with school principals and later gathering at a debriefing luncheon at the Paradise Point Resort & Spa together with all participants to hear from San Diego Unified Superintendent Carl A. Cohn about how the local business community can form lasting partnerships with schools in order to enrich the quality of education in San Diego. 

“First-time participants are usually very surprised at just how busy a principal’s day can be,” said Cohn. “It’s always an eye-opener, and we appreciate that they’re taking time out of their full schedules to learn about San Diego’s schools.”

“Principal for a Day provides us with an opportunity to experience first-hand the challenges and rewards that many of our principals and educational leaders face daily,” said Joseph Campano, Honorary Co-Chair, Director, Merrill Lynch, San Diego Complex.  “Merrill Lynch looks forward to translating this one-day experience into long-term relationships that will help our future workforce.”

Students have the opportunity to interact with business leaders in their capacity as principal for a day and learn about executives’ professional responsibilities and how to best prepare for the workplace setting.  Teachers will also share their experiences, challenges and ideas with executives.  The program helps educators reshape classroom instruction to meet the needs of today’s demanding workforce.

“This program aligns with the Padres Community Relations mantra – LIVE, LEARN and PLAY – and we are honored to be a part of it,” said Richard Freeman, Honorary Co-Chair, President & COO, San Diego Padres.  “For one day, members of the business world get to learn from these fine educators, as well the students.”     

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Erick Laseca



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Erick Laseca
Erick Laseca

Erick Laseca works for Burson-Marsteller as client executive for Merrill Lynch in Chicago.

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