SXSW EDU 2024: Role of the school principal

Aaron Huff, Ed.D., president of NASSP and practicing principal at Benjamin Bosse High School, joined WorkingNation to share his thoughts on the principal’s community impact

Principals can be crucial drivers of their communities, says Aaron Huff, Ed.D., president of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and practicing principal at Benjamin Bosse High School in Evansville, Indiana.

Huff joined WorkingNation’s editor-in-chief Ramona Schindelheim for WorkingNation Overheard at SXSW EDU 2024 in Austin.

Regarding workforce development, Huff says he’s developed relationships with area employers including Toyota Motor Manufacturing and SABIC. “I’ve been fortunate enough to build some collaborative partnerships in my school, and those children have been able to access those organizations at an early age, been able to work for them, get paid by them. So, they know their culture, their community. They know the expectations.”

About his own history, Huff says he, initially, had no interest in education. “I had a mother who was in education for 47 years, and so I was the kid that was running away from education.

“But ultimately what happened is I started working in some afterschool programming with the YMCA and it pricked my heart. Next thing you know, I knew I didn’t want to teach. I wanted to impact a larger audience.”

Huff adds, “Kids can’t be what they can’t see. My responsibility is to break down barriers, open up doors, and give kids access that they would not have. My kids barely get out of a 14-block radius. And so, my responsibility is to extend that as far as I can and give them learning opportunities, give them experience.”

Learn more about the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
Learn more about Benjamin Bosse High School.