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Which principal has also served as a police officer and a film-producer?

2013 January 31
by HISD Communications

In this week’s I am HISD, which features district students, graduates, and employees, M. C. Williams Middle School Principal Corey Seymour talks about how he achieved a childhood dream of having four different careers, his work as an award-winning film producer, and how arresting one of his former students convinced him to return to education.

Williams MS Principal Corey Seymour as a member of the Madison HS Marlins

You are a native Houstonian and a product of HISD?
I went to Hobby Elementary, Lanier Middle School, and Madison High School, and then pursued higher education at Rice University and Texas Southern University. I was raised in the Third Ward by a single mom who worked two jobs so my brothers and I could have a better life. I was a latch-key kid, but my older brother kept me on the straight and narrow. My mother pushed education as the great equalizer. She used to tell us that we may not have all the things that other families have access to, but in school, we were equal to the kid sitting at the desk next to us.

Did you always want to be an educator?
When I was a third-grader at Hobby Elementary, we had to draw a picture of what we wanted to be when we grew up for a local art contest. I told my teacher I wanted to be a teacher, a principal, a police office, and a doctor. I drew a picture showing all four images and ended up winning second place in the contest. My teacher may have thought I was just indecisive at the time, but so far I have held jobs in each of the four professions. I have served as a Houston police officer, an HISD teacher, an HISD principal, and now I have my doctorate degree.

Wait. You were a police officer?
Yes, I was teaching at Westbury High School when I decided to leave and become an officer with HPD. It was something I had always wanted to try, and I did it early on in my career so I wouldn’t have any regrets later in life. A short time later, I ended up arresting one of my former students and I knew I needed to go back to the classroom and do what I could to make a difference, particularly at the middle-school level.

Why middle school?
I think it takes a special mindset to relate (to students that age), which I believe I possess. In middle school, a child’s eyes are still wide open to the world and they are more willing to try and accept new things. It just takes someone to keep them on the right path. I also think I can relate to kids at this age because of my own struggles during middle school. I regularly tell people that “I get paid to change the world,” and I really do believe that.

You also have another job under your belt that few people know about.
I actually have written, produced, and directed several movies. A few of them have even won awards at various film festivals. While at Rice University, I took a class in screenplay writing and film-making and I got bitten by the bug. I’m working on a documentary now. If you Google my name, my movies will come up. One of the more successful ones is called “Point of Death,” and it explores what a man experiences when he is reaching his last breath.

If you know an HISD graduate, student, or employee who should be featured in I am HISD, please email us at
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