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Through Preparedness and Trust-Based Relationships Leaders Can Do Anything

Pearls of Wisdom
By Cindy Beals
Through Preparedness and Trust-Based Relationships Leaders Can Do Anything

For over 30 years international school leaders, teachers, and counselors have come together for Principals’ Training Center (PTC) professional learning experiences. Each day of every program begins with a “pearl of wisdom,” a “nugget of knowledge,” or a “gem of inspiration” from one of the participants. We are delighted to offer our readers around the world these powerful stories, insights, and strategies, all dedicated to our shared mission of ever more and better learning for our children.  

Recently, Cindy worked at Percherk School International in Kyiv, Ukraine. When people learn she was at this school, she is frequently asked how they managed to get through the multiple crises they have faced in the past few years. Her answer is, “It comes through preparedness and the relationships we build.”

For working towards preparedness, she says they:

  1. Reflected on previous experiences to feel like they were not going into a situation empty-handed.
  2. Collected data: what’s working and what’s not working?
  3. Reached out to other schools that had experience with similar situations and companies that could help with risk assessment.

But the preparedness piece was nothing compared to the relationships and trust that had been built in the community. She says, that to build trust they:

  1. Held regular town halls with two-way communication with the community.
  2. Explained the why of decisions, their commitment to always do what is best for students.
  3. Had a strong leadership team. They knew each other well, supported each other, and intentionally found moments of joy.

She reminds us that, “Through preparedness and trust-based relationships, leaders can do anything.”


Professional positions cited were the ones held at the time of recording. The positions and schools of those quoted may have since changed.

Cindy Beals is the Director of Learning at Percherk International School in Ukraine.

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