Andrew McMillan

Chapman High School

 

1.) Tell us about your role as an educator. What does your typical day look like?

 

I am a high school administrator, so there are no “typical” days! However, for the most part, my 

day consists of working closely with our students and faculty in the day to day operations of a 

high school. I have a rotating schedule of walkthrough observations I try to complete, so my day 

is centered around interacting with as many students and teachers I can within the classroom. 

One of my personal goals is to make sure students understand what it means to be college and 

career ready. One way I accomplish this is by meeting with individual students to discuss their 

current graduation progress, their most recent SAT or ACT exam score, and their plans for after 

high school. During these conversations, I am able to build relationships with our students and 

work with them on their future plans. At Chapman High School, we have award winning 

academic art programs and championship athletic programs. Although our school day officially 

ends at 3:15, there are always opportunities for me to watch a musical performance or athletic

contest. I believe it is important for our students to see their teachers and administrators 

supporting them!

 

2.)  What’s your education philosophy summed up in one sentence?

 

As an Administrator, my philosophy is if serving is below you, leadership is beyond you.

3.) Why did you become an educator?

 

I became an educator to help young people realize their full potential and hopes and dreams. I have been fortunate to work with all ages of students, from 4k to Seniors. Education is the one profession that single handedly impacts all other professions. Growing up, I saw the impact my parents had on people and their surrounding communities (both parents were educators) and realized that I too wanted to make the same difference in people’s lives in my community.   

4.) As an SCASCD Emerging Leader, how do you hope to have a greater effect on education in your community and beyond?

 

I am excited to be able to learn and grow with other like-minded professionals! Our students,

staff, and schools deserve every ounce of energy we have, and I hope to gain valuable

knowledge and experience from this program to implement ideas and best practices to further grow our schools, students, staff, and community. Additionally, I would like to have a greater impact on the community within Spartanburg County and the state of South Carolina, to continue to stress the importance of education while bridging the gap between local business and community leaders and schools.

 

5.) What types of professional development (books, DVDs, webinars, courses) have made a difference in your career?

 

I enjoy reading books of all genres, not just educational based books. Some of the most impactful books on my life as an educator are My Personal Best by John Wooden and Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy. In Wooden’s book, he correlates many of his coaching experiences with daily challenges such as integrity and discipline. I believe as an educator, we must model strong moral character, integrity, and fairness. In my experience, students, parents, and staff enjoy being treated fairly, firmly, and honestly. Wooden describes many of these qualities, and how they impacted his personal and coaching life. In Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy, Coach Dungy chronicles leading professional men in the National Football League to the highest pinnacle, the Super Bowl, while demonstrating leadership and strength in ways not typical for NFL coaches. He describes leadership without using profanity, exhibiting strong moral character, and building up those around him. I believe strongly in the correlations between coaching and teaching. So much of our profession is the ability to build our team around us, lead our stakeholders to success, and manage the ebb and flow of the educational dynamic within our state and nation.

           

 

6.) Was there a pivotal moment when you realized your career choice in education was the correct one? Describe that time.   

 

As a high school administrator, there have been many pivotal moments in my career that have solidified my reasoning for becoming an administrator. There is no better moment than

graduation! The class of 2018 were freshmen when I started working at Chapman High

School. I have had the pleasure of watching them grow into confident young men and women, ready to go out into a world that desperately needs confident and educated leaders. Watching them walk across the stage and accept their ticket to go forward and accomplish their dreams solidified my belief that I am in the right profession!

 

7.) If you could make one major change in education, what would it be?

 

If I could make one change in education, it would be to eliminate the amount of negativity that

exists against education in general. Additionally, I feel there is vital change needed in the

amount of inconsistency between federal and state mandates in regards to education. New

initiatives pushed down are often not followed through, and many of these programs and

initiatives are not given enough time to be evaluated for effectiveness.

8.) What is your most rewarding experience as an educator?

 

My most rewarding experience as an educator is simply knowing that every day I have multiple opportunities to impact those around me. As Brooks Harper says, “I have been fortunate to turn my passion into my paycheck.” Education is a very humbling, yet immensely rewarding profession where no one day is like the other. As I mentioned earlier, our students, staff, schools, and communities deserve our ABSOLUTE best every day, regardless of the circumstances they have been dealt with. I am rewarded daily with constant reminders of the great work educators do, and I absolutely love watching and helping young people navigate their way through their lives.

Eight Questions For SCASCD Emerging Leaders

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