Geez ... hard work? My husband is on the road over 300 days a year working 24/7 ... since he sleeps at work ... and he made half that salary. No medical insurance, no paid vacations, no sick days, etc. He is an instructor with this job as well ... superb reviews from students. He is also educated. But no one wanted to hire someone over 55 when his last job went belly up. Maybe he should be a principal of a school. At least he would be home and have all the perks to go with the "hard work" he will be subjected to.
Becoming a school Principal typically requires far more of practicing teachers than graduate degrees. In my experience, the teacher needs to assume leadership roles or initiatives for program development in the broader school or district environment in order to build a comprehensive resume of practical skills outside the classroom. Educational leadership of adults is not just good management: it takes a visionary leader who inspires and supports the need for change and the resources (both human and otherwise) to attain it.
My niece, who just turned 29 and will soon complete her doctorate, started her 1st year as a principal this fall. You're correct, just having degrees won't get you there. She was very successful in using an innovative program when teaching and the administrators had her instruct other teachers in their district on how to use the program. She taught for 5 years and was an assistant principal for 2. When she applied to be a principal in a neighboring district that paid better than hers, she was quickly hired, not for her degrees but for the things you mentioned.