Welcome to The Modern Principal, a collection of thoughts to redefine the role of leadership in our schools. We use our voice to steer the new generation of those invested in education to see themselves as leaders regardless of their title. We shape education through practical problem solving, real relationships, and system solutions.
Students are the core of every decision made, but we also find fault in the saying ‘students’ needs over adults’.’ We don’t believe it’s an either / or conversation. Quality school leaders make it a priority to connect, serve and guide the adults in the building to achieve greatness for our students. This is a Modern Principal.
Christy Lamb is an elementary principal in a PreK-5th grade building with the district’s gifted program. After learning in her Sociology degree program (a highly sought-after and lucrative career path) that for-profit prisons were using 3rd grade African American boys’ reading levels to determine the number of prisons to build in the future, Christy applied to and was accepted to the Teach for America program in Houston, TX. Educational equity is the name of her game!
She has hopped back and forth between elementary and middle school serving as an ELA teacher, instructional coach, reading specialist, admin intern, assistant principal, and principal. Up until the 11th year of her career, she had never had the exact same job/classroom/building/district two years in a row. A self-proclaimed “horrible colleague” in her early years due to many moves, Christy now craves collaboration with professionals both in and out of education to help make her dream of an equitable learning environment a reality.
Karen Hile is an elementary principal in a PreK-4 building with the district’s behavior program and one of the district’s life skills classrooms. Education always seemed in the cards for her as both of her parents were involved in education in various roles. She set off to college to become a teacher but the particular liberal arts program had teacher candidates get undergrad degrees in content other than education first.
Karen completed her BA and BS in Psychology and set off to get certified through completing her Masters while having her own classroom through the Kansas City Residential Internship Program. Having no experience, it could have been an utter disaster for her students and herself for that matter, but because the program assigned her a full time mentor and instructional coach, instead it ignited her fire for this profession.
Going from teacher to instructional coach, to admin intern to principal in urban, suburban and rural schools for the past 15 years would have never been possible without the incredible support, guidance and learning found in the community of dedicated educators in all schools. Exploring how to create that network across varying communities and districts with the Modern Principal sounds like the next level in her journey as a school leader.