For many people, the experience can be summed up in seven words: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Lifetimes transpire during those years, and principals become shepherds, leading their young, impressionable flock across precarious, and at times, perilous terrain. With the proliferation of technology, rising poverty levels, more competitive pressures, and constantly shifting policy winds, it is clear the work of school leaders has gotten trickier over time.
Principal Michelle Chae is one such shepherd. Most of her more than 10 years as a school administrator was at the elementary and middle school levels. Now, at Lehman High School in the Hays Consolidated Independent School District, Chae is covering new ground, learning as she leads, and trying to impart on her students – many considered “at risk” —that caring for one another is as important as mastering course curriculum.
Still fresh from attending the Leading 21st Century High Schools program for principals at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Chae sat down briefly with Raise Your Hand Texas to talk about the practical tools she brought back to her 2,200 students.