Oakview Elementary School
1.) Tell us about your role as an educator. What does your typical day look like?
I currently serve as assistant principal at Oakview Elementary in Greenville County Schools. One of the things I love most about being an administrator is that no day is typical. However, the way I begin and end my day always looks the same – connecting with students as they enter and leave the building. In addition, on any given day, I can be found working alongside my school’s leadership team, teachers, students, and families. While my daily responsibilities are ever-changing dependent upon need, I make every effort to be present in my school by providing instructional and leadership support.
2.) What’s your education philosophy summed up in one sentence?
All students can be successful when engaged in a student-centered, relationship-focused learning environment..
3.) Why did you become an educator?
I became an educator because of my positive experiences throughout school. I vividly remember the impact my teachers had on me, particularly those who took the time to connect with me and understand my strengths and weaknesses. Using these educators as role models, I desired to provide the same example to my students.
4.) As an SCASCD Emerging Leader, how do you hope to have a greater effect on education in your community and beyond?
As an SCASCD Emerging Leader, I hope to continue my growth and knowledge of best practices as a leader in the field of education. I will use my role as an advocate for my district, school, teachers, students, and families to maintain a voice for purposeful change. Serving as an SCASCD Emerging Leader will allow me opportunities to network with other educational leaders across the state of South Carolina to ensure teachers have a voice and that students remain at the center of the conversation.
5.) What types of professional development (books, DVDs, webinars, courses) have made a difference in your career?
I enjoy professional development that strengthens my ability to effectively work with teachers and students. Early in my teaching career, I received a great deal of professional development regarding a social-emotional approach to classroom management. As a teacher, this professional development impacted my ability to connect with students, develop self-regulated learners, and effectively manage my classroom. As an administrator, the same skills have allowed me to build relationships with students and determine logical consequences as needed. Most recently, that same professional development helped me to determine my research focus for my dissertation. I am currently participating in a professional development focused on instructional leadership as an assistant administrator.
6.) Was there a pivotal moment when you realized your career choice in education was the correct one? Describe that time.
As an administrator, I knew I made the correct career choice the first time I “won over” a parent in a challenging situation regarding their child. By building a relationship with the parent, together, we were able to ensure the student received the necessary supports to be successful.
7.) If you could make one major change in education, what would it be?
One change I would like to see in education is a more streamlined approach to social and emotional support provided to students. School leaders, teachers, and support staff need consistent and on-going support in order to adequately address the wide-ranging needs of student entering today’s classrooms.
8.) What is your most rewarding experience as an educator?
As an educator, it is rewarding to know I am making a difference. While not always easy, seeing the “pay-off” of working with a teacher, student, or parent to overcome an obstacle is always worth it.