College move-in day is right around the corner, and I’ve been reflecting on educators that touched me in a special way. I never had a favorite principal until….. In the eighth grade, my Middle School got a new principal. I didn’t know too much about her, other than most of my friends had her as their principal in elementary school. I remember the first day I met her. I was late to school, as I was very often because my daycare van got me there late(that’s another story for my mom to tell) I went down one walk way and she used another.
When she got there before I did, she said “haha I beat you”. Now that probably meant nothing to her, but it meant the world to me. I thought,”Wow, she has all these kids and noticed I took the long way, and she laughed about it”. Well, it might sound silly, but even though she didn’t know me at the moment she was aware that I was there, and that’s more than I ever received from any other principal. That was the end of September, it wouldn’t be until February that she knew me by name…
School talent shows are what I lived for throughout my school career. To my disbelief, I never won (still mad) Anyway, in previous years a teacher had ran the middle school talent shows, but this new principal was the Boss(t) (literally). When I went into the audition room, I was a little nervous, especially since I had just started playing and singing the piano at the same time. Once everything was hooked up, I sat down and collected my thoughts before going into a medley of popular songs at the time.
I remember not knowing where to look, so I stared at the floor the whole time. In the middle of my performance, she jumped up and started clapping and singing along. At the end she told me how good I was, and asked what grade I was in. Sadly, I was in the eighth grade, so that would be my last year with her. Ever since that day she called me by name. Not only did she call me by my name, she asked how I was doing. At the talent show that year the kids that attended were BAD, like extremely disrespectful. As always my mom called the school.
Normally when my mom called to complain, teachers/faculty took it out on me. However, this new principal did the talent show over. The WHOLE show!! OVER!! Throughout the process of doing the show over we became close, and one day she walked over to me and said “I like your style, don’t ever change”. At the time I thought she meant my outfit was cute.. I was quite fashionable that year. I had a hat to match every outfit because I really thought I was Alicia Keys. (joking) That statement stuck with me throughout
High School. I never had to change who I was to have friends or fit in.. At the end of the eighth grade I got every award possible.. The principal’s award, the president’s award, etc.. I didn’t have a chance to miss her in High School, because in the tenth grade she moved to that school. I was SO excited. One day when I got to school, I had a pass from her. I was selected to have a meeting with the Superintendent. Now, all the kids at the meeting were Juniors and Seniors… how did I get in there?
At the beginning of the meeting we went around and said something good about the school and something we didn’t like. At the time my lunch was overcrowded, so I said lunch. The next day my 5th period class had a new lunch schedule. I always wanted to say the morning announcements, so I made my band friends ask her. So on my birthday, I showed up to the office to say the morning announcements. She simply told the girl that normally did them that “Carlehr was doing them today”. Throughout the year I wished I would’ve talked more to her, and really basked in the moment.. ecause she left the following year.
Even though the encounters I had with her were small, they were each significant in their very own way. She made me feel safe at school, and that my opinion mattered. She made me feel important and most importantly she made me WANT to go to school. She inspired me to be great! Maybe it’s because she was the first black doctor I knew that wasn’t a medical doctor (I didn’t know that was possible)lol. I will forever love her and the way she made me feel just by knowing my name…