Anyone who reads this blog knows I am not a fan of any administrator, but I want to make an exception here and pay tribute to one of the last great ones, Joyce Prenner, an AP in charge of the history department who just passed away.
Joyce was a no nonsense woman and truth be told, I did not like her much when I first met her. Proctoring regents in her department was always a chore because of all her rules, but I soon realized her rules were what made proctoring in her department so easy. There were always clear and concise instructions. Envelopes were always complete and there was always someone around to answer questions.
I never worked directly for Joyce, so I can't attest to what it was like to be a member of her department, but I know from people in her department that she was truly a master teacher, someone who knew her subject and knew how to teach and to help her teachers become better teachers.
I did get to know Joyce well when I began teaching College Now classes as she was the liaison between the school and the college. She took care of business efficiently, made sure the teachers in the high school had everything they needed from the college and made sure the college got what they needed from the teachers. She stood up for us when necessary.
Joyce saw through the nonsense in school. I often went to her to discuss problems I was having with my own AP and she lent a sympathetic ear. She reminded me of my worth and my own competence and I could see her feelings on the subject clearly yet she never said a bad word about him.
I know there are some who don't share the admiration I have for this woman, but I hope they can look past their feelings and see the bright, competent person she was. I wish the administrators of today, the ones with almost zero teaching experience could learn from her. I never wanted to be an administrator because I knew I was not nearly as smart as the administrators of Joyce's era. It is a shame that today's teachers have no role models like her.
RIP Joyce Prenner. You certainly deserve it for the job you did here on earth.