I Really Don't Like My Child's Principal

I have two children in a public elementary school. It is one of the top schools in the area. Our school draws from many wealthy areas and many of the families at our school have the option to send their children to private school. Houses in our neighborhood are sold at a premium because of our elementary school. We chose to move here in order to send our kids to this school.
Our principal has been at our school for a few years. She is not popular among the parents or the teachers. She treats the parents as meddling nuisances rather than a resource. In meetings between our principal and prospective parents, parents come excited to attend the school and leave considering other options.
Our parents do expect to have power within the school and get ruffled pretty easily. Many of the mothers do not work outside the home and the school is flooded with volunteers on a daily basis, even the dads help out. However, if our school remains strong, I think it may be in spite of our principal. Most of the teachers are fabulous and we have some wonderful individuals in administrative positions.
After a few years with my children at this school, I wonder if I just expect too much of our public school. If you decide to send children to a public school, are you just at the whim of the principal, the school board and the superintendent of schools? Sometimes I wonder if I am just not cut out for the public school environment. Am I too uptight to be a public school parent?

Even with her rough exterior, this principal is running a school that you enjoy. You do not have to like her, and remember that you may not like everyone at a private school either.
If you pay for private school it does not necessarily give you a louder voice. Parents often feel more at liberty to say things in a private school, but hiring decisions are made by the school and parents are often told to leave private schools if they are unhappy with the people they have working there. It can be the same with public schools. You have a voice and the school and district will listen, but they have to run their schools. So you may not like the principal, but you do like the school and she is running it. Find peace with the fact that you just do not communicate the same. You do not have to be her friend. That does not mean she does not have strengths. On the other hand, if she is doing something wrong or harmful, report her.
It sounds like she is blunt, perhaps too much so, and she is managing a group of parents that are very involved and may want to run the school. So she may be putting up a front to keep the parents at arm's distance so that all the kids, even those with less involved parents, get access to an education.
Ask yourself this: why move to an area just for the schools, enjoy the schools, send your children there and watch them receive a quality education and then worry too much about how friendly the principal behaves?

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