Harvard-Bound Principal Uses Playing Cards to Prepare Students for Life

May 25, 2017 |

At Raise Your Hand Texas, summers bring intensive leadership development for our state’s educational leaders. Since 2008, our organization has sent carefully selected school principals to the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, MA, to attend one of a number of week-long institutes covering topics ranging from school turnaround to family engagement.

This year, for the first time, we’re sending not only school principals, but groups of school leader teams which we believe will result in even greater transformation and innovation on public school campuses in Texas.

Competition each year is stiff. As in years past, the individuals headed to Harvard are visionaries in the realm of public education – men and women who not only have grand ideas about how education is delivered to Texas’ 5+ million public school students, but are primed to actively work to elevate the system.

One such veteran leader, Principal Jay Barrett of the Amarillo Area Center for Advanced Learning, accepted our invitation to attend an institute in July called Leadership: An Evolving Vision. Although he’s worked in education for more than three decades, Barrett says the learning continues.

“It’s a chance to learn from people internationally,” he said. In addition to representatives from across the United States, “… there will be other administrators there from 20 other countries. This is an opportunity to learn from them some new techniques about the evolving vision of leadership.”

Barrett has knowledge to share as well. Like his “4 Aces” philosophy. Watch our video (above) to see how a deck of cards helps him prepare his high school students not only for college and career, but for life.


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