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Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Buffy in the Head of the Class : Best and Worst TV Principals

Wednesday 5 March 2008, by Webmaster

Boston Public principal Steven HarperTelevision enthusiasts have encountered a number of fictional school principals over the years. Some made weekly occurrences as regular cast members, while others stole the show in guest or recurring roles. Overall quality of these TV administrators varied greatly, and over the years series’ have produced principals on both ends of the spectrum, as well as many in between. We have taken a closer look at some favorites from years past, and come up with a list of the best and worst of the bunch.

The Best

Principal Snyder - Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Some may claim that this authoritarian, small-minded disciplinarian deserves a nice comfy spot on the ’worst’ list...but they would be wrong. Before jumping to any conclusions about the S-Man, remember this: Snyder (Armin Shimerman) lasted for over two years in a school situated directly over a hellmouth. That’s one tough gig, but Snyder was up to the challenge. Throughout his tenure, he managed to keep things (mostly) in line, unlike the wishy-washy Hyena fodder that preceded him.

Was Snyder overly antagonistic when it came to Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and the Scooby Gang? Sure. But one can’t really fault him for that. He saw that trouble seemed to follow Buffy wherever she went, and he simply wanted to keep all of that away from the school. As he said on more than one occasion, "I like order." Seems fair enough. And it’s not like he had any double standards when it came to his zero tolerance policy. He consistently expected order from his students, but he also wasn’t afraid to demand it from a 50 foot tall, demonic Mayor Wilkins (Harry Groener).

So, despite the fact that he believes smell to be some sort of "sixth sense," Snyder deserves recognition for all of his hard work. After all, while Buffy claimed all of the credit for the class of 1999 having the lowest death rate in years, we all know who the true "class protector" was. And he didn’t need Jonathan (Danny Strong) to present him with a little umbrella to prove it.