Houston CEOs Shadow HISD School Leaders


The Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) of Houston met at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center on Thursday, Oct. 25, for a Principal Shadowing Event.

The reason for such a prestigious gathering? To bring community business leaders together with local school leaders and principals to discuss the state of Houston-area schools, teachers, and students.

This year, the Houston YPO teamed up with Houston Independent School District, Spring Branch Independent School District, YES Prep Public Schools, and KIPP Public Charter Schools-Houston to discuss such topics as school reform, educational leadership, and teacher effectiveness. The event was designed to open the lines of communication between community and school leaders and to increase awareness of the strengths and challenges for local public school systems.

Local CEOs and business owners listened as a panel featuring HISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier, Spring Branch Superintendent Dr. Duncan Klussmann, and YES Prep President Jason Bernal discussed the state of local schools.

“Our biggest challenge is making sure we have teachers who meet the needs of our students,” Dr. Grier said. He, along with Dr. Klussmann and Bernal, answered questions from moderator and president of The New Teacher Project, Timothy Daly, and the YPO members in preparation of the shadowing event taking place later in the day.

Each CEO was paired with a local principal or school leader. Their task: to shadow the principals, sit in meetings, and observe teachers and students. “Don’t just sit and watch, but ask. Ask students what they’re learning,” Bernal said. “Look at the interaction between teacher and students.”