Principals who retire, hailed by students and teachers: they have never confused school with a business

Once upon a time The principal. The one who welcomed the students at the school entrance. He cared about his students, he visited them while they taught. He was concerned not to let his teachers lack anything. A ballot paper was not lost. His door was always open and showed full willingness to talk to everyone, including families.

Of that figure, in some ways mythical, there is not much left today. With the introduction of the school of autonomy, the definition has also changed: we have more and more school leaders, very leader but small principals. In some cases, even confusing the school with a business.


Too much attention to the numbers (those about the trend of enrolled students, of balances in profits, of Pon-drawing, of average evaluations and so on) and much less to the relation to what is today very coldly called “users”. Too bad that without users, schools would not exist.

It is a concept that old school principals know well, not surprisingly, those who have based their professional practice on this belief: the priority interest in the educational needs of their children and teens.

Anyone who has been fortunate enough to have them as principal knows what that means. Like some very charismatic teachers, these principals have left their mark: to the point that their students, along with their teachers, by greeting them for their well-deserved retirement, wanted to thank them with truly heartfelt festivities.

The party of Aluisi Tosolini

It happened a few days ago Aluisi Tosolini, at the helm of high school Attilio Bertolucci since its birth in 2007, which was practically praised by students, teachers, staff and parents. And he, who started his career at the age of twenty as a religion teacher and then became a teacher of philosophy, responded in the hope that the school had taught them that it is not enough to “understand the world, but we must also transform it”.

By School technologyTosolini, who is also the coordinator of the Schools of Peace, said: “I have always worked to make students feel like school as their second home. At Bertolucci, students can stop even after classes, to study or do their homework or just for to chat “.
But how do we understand that a school is a community? “There are many signs, one that may seem silly is this: Just look at how the students’ bathrooms are, if they are clean it is because there is a sense of community and mutual respect,” the principal replied.

“If the school is not a parking lot – said Tosolini – and if it is a community, it is minimum to think of behaving as in a community or home school”.

For Tosolini, the ultimate goal of the school is for it to do its utmost to ensure that “their students were actors and not spectators”.

Ovation to Tommaso De Luca

A similar “ritual” – whose video went viral – was reserved for the retiring principal of Avogadro High School in Turin, Tommaso De Luca: many young people gathered in front of the entrance raised the stadium choir “One of us, he really is one of us”.

De Luca was dean of Avogadro, where he took office in 1994 as a professor of literature, also for 15 years.

His speech, writes Ansa, began with a joke that was greeted by the laughter of those present: “I do not know if I will be able to get you all promoted: the problem is the professors … But I will do everything to help you, as always “.

“The first basic strength of Avogadro – he told the boys – is its 1,600 students. Are you. It has been a privilege to be able to tell me ‘your principal’ all these years. I will always carry you in my heart.”

The video, which has been viewed tens of thousands of times through sharing, gathered words of appreciation from internet users, including teachers from all over Italy and also former students from Avogadro.

Many said they were “touched”. “You are a schoolgirl – De Luca replied to a commentator – and you will understand how rich I feel today and how sad I feel”.

“If this principal’s humanity tracked other people’s bodies and hearts in public bodies – was one of the tweets – then it would be a different world”. “We are many servants of the state who are proud of it,” De Luca replied.

“I have always been proud of my students. You made me proud. I am grateful to you for what you have taught me. For what you have done to me ”, commented the headmaster.

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