In the world of academia, letters of recommendation are often needed for those considering a change in position. This is especially true for those in high ranking positions such as principals and assistant principals. Assistant principals may need such a letter to apply for a new job at a school or university, or to apply for further education. Without a well written letter of recommendation to support their application, their chances of success are reduced.
If you’ve been asked to write one for a colleague, you would probably feel quite honored. But you must also recognize that writing a letter of recommendation can require careful thought and consideration. Your words will likely play a role in whether or not your colleague lands their next opportunity. You want to ensure that you’re able to show the person at their best, in order to maximize their chances of success.
Read on to find our tips for writing a great recommendation letter, as well as some examples of letters of recommendation for an assistant principal.
Tips for writing a letter of recommendation for an assistant principal
Ideally, a letter of recommendation should not exceed one page in length, and should describe the individual’s positive traits and impact.
Use a formal business letter structure, as well as a professional tone. Use official stationery to write or print your letter on.
You can address your letter to a particular individual, if you know the position, institution or course the candidate has applied for, or you can write a general letter of recommendation.
To write a letter of recommendation, you should have firsthand experience of working with the individual. Letters of recommendation hold the greatest weight when they’re written by people in positions of authority. For an assistant principal, a principal, head of department, or professor might be among the best people to write a letter of recommendation. Mention when, where and in what capacity you worked together, and how long you have known each other.
In your letter, include information relevant to their responsibilities in the new job. Find out specific details about the institution and position they’re applying to. Ask them to share the job description with you, if possible. Consider specific requirements listed in the job description, and see how you can best describe these qualities in the person you are recommending.
Spend some time thinking about your experiences with this individual which speak to the skills that qualify them for this role. Try to think of at least three qualities that make them stand out, and two specific examples of exemplary behavior.
Since an assistant principal is in a largely administrative role, often helping to set the direction for the institution, you may want to consider their skills in certain relevant areas. These can include relationship building (listening and communication), ownership and initiative-taking, decision-making and problem-solving, and so on. If possible, include metrics that demonstrate their positive impact on the school, such as improvements in students’ test scores, etc.
Describe specific instances where they have demonstrated these qualities. Do remember that people remember stories better than facts, and try to include at least one real life story to substantiate your statements about the individual’s fitness for the role.
Also, do include a paragraph on the individual’s character. You could mention, for example, their compassion and empathy, fair and consistent approach to student discipline, advocacy for students and teachers, etc.
These are the basic elements your letter of recommendation should include:
- Your name, title and address
- The date
- Candidate introduction and statement of recommendation
- Your qualifications and details of your professional acquaintance with the candidate
- 1-2 paragraphs detailing why you recommend them
- 1 personal story that demonstrates the positive qualities you’ve mentioned
- Your signature
Examples of letters of recommendation for an assistant principal
Here are some examples of letters of recommendation for an assistant principal.
We’ve also included a template with prompts that you can fill in according to your needs.
Dear Mr. Nader,
This letter serves as my recommendation for Winifred G. Garney for the position of assistant principal.
Ms. Garney served as the assistant principal at Edgewood Grammar School for just over 3 years while I was the principal there. I found her to be an extremely diligent and capable administrator. She single-handedly organized many school events and activities, and played a leading role in various fund-raising and advisory committees.
I also observed that she was extremely committed to the students, always quick to step back and consider what’s good for them. As the principal, I came to rely greatly on her judgement in making several decisions that would impact the future of the school.
I’m pleased to say that during my time working with her, I received nothing but good reports of her from everyone in our staff. Our students also always found her to be kind and approachable.
I believe she is a very qualified candidate for the role of assistant principal at the Littlewood Institute.
I’m happy to answer any further questions you may have about her background and experience. I can be reached via [contact details].
Ebony T. Whitaker
Former Principal, Edgewood Grammar School
To whom it may concern:
It is my great pleasure to recommend Leo M. Hill for the position of assistant principal at the Mountainridge Academy.
Leo has been the assistant principal at East Shores High for the past 4 years. As the head of the science department, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with him on many occasions.
During this time, I’ve always known him to be highly motivated to make the school experience better for our students. He’s quick to identify areas of improvement, and eager to take up new responsibilities.
Over the past year alone, he has contributed towards making several improvements in the school’s teaching program, specifically in terms of improving our STEM curriculum delivery. The result of his efforts can be seen in the average improvement of 20 percent in our students’ test scores across STEM subjects.
Besides his ability to inspire people across departments to work together and get things done, Leo has a wonderful rapport with our students. His positive attitude and commitment to growth make him a very good fit for his role.
I believe Leo is a strong candidate for the role of assistant principal at Mountainridge, and recommend him without reservation.
In case I can help with any other details from my time working with Leo, please feel free to reach out to me at [email address].
Luiza Ferreira Martins
Department Head (Science), East Shores High
Dear Dr. Lee,
I’d like to recommend Sylvester L. Carver for the role of assistant principal at Willow College.
As the former principal of Elk Grove College, I had the pleasure of working alongside Sylvester for five years. During this time, I found him to be an exceptional administrator and a real asset to the institution.
Besides assisting in supervising the teaching staff of 45 professors, Sylvester was able to easily manage a complex range of administrative responsibilities. He was often the first to come up with productive solutions to emerging challenges, and quickly gained the trust of our teaching staff and school board.
Sylvester is also highly passionate about his role as an educator. He’s enthusiastic about building a sense of community around the school, and proactive in addressing feedback. An example of his commitment to students is our program to identify and provide support to at-risk students, which he spearheaded.
Sylvester truly champions the needs of the students and faculty that he serves, and this makes him an outstanding leader. I’m confident that he’ll continue to have a significant positive impact in his future academic endeavors as well.
Please reach out to me at [contact details] with any further questions about Sylvester’s qualifications and experience.
Former Principal, Elk Grove College
To Whom It May Concern:
I’m pleased to write this letter of recommendation for Mr. Jamaal O’Neal, assistant principal at Golden Oak School for Boys, where I currently serve as principal.
Mr. O’Neal joined us in 2018 and quickly impressed us with his resourcefulness and drive. He is unfazed by challenges, eager to try new strategies and creative solutions.
In his time with us, he helped successfully organize the revamp of several school processes and instituted our new teacher training programs. He was also extremely adept at managing the school’s finances amid a challenging series of budget cuts.
Mr. O’Neal has keenly developed skills in conflict resolution and consensus building. This allows him to lead school committee meetings towards productive outcomes, as well as build positive relationships with the community, the media, and other schools in the neighborhood.
I’ve always known Mr. O’Neal to treat our students with great dignity and respect. As a result, he is able to maintain a great rapport with them as well as a positive relationship with their parents.
Though I’m sorry to see him leave Golden Oak, I am confident that he will be an asset to any institution he is a part of in the future.
For any other inquiries regarding Mr. O’Neal’s background, please contact me at [contact details].
Principal, Golden Oak School for Boys
To whom it may concern:
I am delighted to write this recommendation for Imogen Potts, currently serving as assistant principal at the Bear Mountain High School.
Imogen joined us at Bear Mountain two years ago, and has proved a great asset to our staff of educators. She is attentive and methodical, and is able to manage complex and ever-changing responsibilities with ease. She is great at identifying the concerns of both teachers and students, and trying new approaches to solve these proactively.
Imogen is also highly growth oriented and takes every opportunity to improve her skills through books, professional development courses, and seeking mentoring.
She is fair and consistent in all matters relating to student discipline. She is an active listener, able to communicate openly with students and parents, and bring clarity and resolution to many tough situations.
She has a great passion for social justice, and has been a crucial figure in our school’s recent efforts towards greater diversity, equity and inclusion. An example of this is the coaching programs she has introduced to help teachers identify their unconscious biases towards students from minority groups.
I can say with complete confidence that our school has benefited greatly from Imogen’s efforts, and I’m certain that she would make a great addition to the staff of any educational establishment.
For any further questions regarding her experience, please feel free to contact me at [contact details].
Principal, Bear Mountain High School
You can write your own letter of recommendation by following along with the prompts and inserting relevant details into the template below:
It gives me great pleasure to recommend [Candidate’s Name].
I am a [Role Name] at [Institution Name]. I worked with [Candidate’s Name] at [Institution Name] for [Number of Years] years.
In my experience, [Candidate’s Name] has always been [insert quality]. During their time with us, we’ve seen [describe the positive impact they’ve had].
It’s clear that [Candidate Name’s] greatly values [insert quality]. During their tenure here, they took great care to [describe some of their efforts in detail]. They also [describe their efforts in another area].
An example of [Candidate Name’s] commitment to [insert quality] is their work on [describe a particular initiative/project they took up]. This resulted in [describe impact].
All in all, I greatly enjoyed working with [Candidate’s Name]. They’re an asset to any academic institution, and I heartily recommend them.
In case you’d like to speak further about their background and experience, do reach out to me at [contact details].
[Your Name and Title]
Being asked to write a letter of recommendation is an honor. By using this template and following the tips outlined above, you should be able to write a letter that brings your colleague one step closer to their goal.