The first day of school is a common source of jitters and anxiousness. Students fidget with new backpacks, parents adjust to new schedules, teachers prepare to meet a new crop of students.
But for some members of Team HISD, August 23 this year will be more than just the normal first day of school. It will be their first day as school principals.
The 35 new principals in Houston Independent School District gathered at the HISD Education Learning Center for the New Leaders Institute this week, to brainstorm, network, gather resources, and get inspired for a new year.
Superintendent Millard House II was on hand to offer some words of encouragement, first meeting with the principals as they ate breakfast and later offering some remarks to those gathered.
“Creating a campus of innovative, exciting, and world-class educators starts with all of you, the principals,” House said. “Your excitement, your enthusiasm, your passion is what can inspire your teachers on even the hardest of days.”
For Jose Cordova, the new principal of Memorial Elementary School, NLI is an opportunity to not only network, but to build a support system.
“It’s a great way to create a network of colleagues and individuals who are ready to have a great first year as new leaders,” Cordova said.
The former HISD student, who graduated from Carnegie Vanguard High School, changed his original plans for law school to become an educator. He said “combatting educational inequity” was a driving force behind his decision to pursue education and serving as a principal is the next step in that mission.
“As an individual who grew up in Title I schools, I saw the inequity firsthand as a student,” he said. “Coming back to the district that made me who I am today—to be able to combat that education inequity and give back to the students—is very important to me.”
The New Leader Institute is hosted by the HISD Leadership Development Department. The principals will meet through July 22, with assistant principals and teacher specialists having sessions July 26-29. For more information on Leadership Development, please click here.