My first year as a principal was difficult and challenging. As a result, it was a hard year for the entire school. We all knew it. I saw it in the faces of my children. I could sense it in conversations with staff. And in some form or another, I saw it every day as I walked the school. Still, I was shocked when I saw the results of the 5Essentials survey. The 5Essentials framework outlines the five areas research says are critical for school improvement, including the area of "Effective Leaders."