My Story: Strength Through Vulnerability

    My Story: Principal Identifies a Weakness Which Leaves Her a Stronger Leader

    Jina Eksaengsri, Principal
    Riddle Elementary School
    Frisco ISD, Plano, Texas
    Raise Your Hand Texas Alumna ‘13 (Harvard – Improving Schools: The Art of Leadership)

    My experience at The Principals’ Center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, funded by Raise Your Hand Texas, was truly the best professional development opportunity of my career.

    As one of the youngest principals in a fast growing school district, I feel the constant need to prove myself in this role. I attended the Improving Schools: The Art of Leadership institute unsure of what to expect, but imagined that I would leave with a few good ideas to implement on my campus as part of the improvement process.

    Little did I realize, the improvement process was on improving me!

    I feel that because of Raise Your Hand Texas and the Art of Leadership, I know myself better than I ever have before. I realize that sometimes I stand in my own way, and sometimes I move way too fast.

    I realize I strive to never appear weak, but that is, in fact, my greatest weakness.

    The experience taught me what truly being transparent means. It is not just a catchphrase. It is a state of mind. It means being comfortable with yourself, and comfortable in the role of the principalship.


    From this experience, I have learned to be so much more thoughtful when making school-wide change. I have learned to slow down, to ask questions, to collaborate with others, and then take action. I am a more thoughtful leader because of Raise Your Hand Texas.

    Now, in my fourth year as a campus principal, I feel that my campus is making huge strides toward professional learning. Our staff is collaborating more than ever before, sharing a common commitment for student achievement!

    Principal Eksaengsri receives her certificate upon completion of the Improving Schools: The Art of Leadership program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

    Principal Eksaengsri wrote about her experience at the Harvard Graduate School of Education on her personal blog. To read her post, go here.