I tend to take notice when I hear North Philly mentioned. It’s where I lived for several years. On the corner of Hancock and Diamond. It’s where I composed, “My Apologies to North Philly,” a spoken-word piece. So when scrolling through my Twitter feed, this Ted Talk video caught my attention.
Ted Talk by a Determined Principal
The Ted Talk video below is given by Linda Cliatt-Wayman who shares about her first day as principal at a failing high school in North Philadelphia. She was persistent to make a change. And make a change at Strawberry Mansion High School she did. After this low performing high school was on the persistently dangerous for five years, she got them off that in just one-year.
“Miss! Miss! This is not a school!”
Part of her inspiration along her journey was during her first day of school when she gave a speech in the auditorium, speaking about the school rules, and a female student stood and shouted out, “Miss! Miss! This is not a school!” Listen to the Ted Talk to hear more about this emotional moment.
So Little Time, So Many Accomplishments
Here are some of the the things she accomplished in one year:
- Resetting every locker combination by hand, so that every student can have a secure locker.
- Decorated the school with bright colors and positive messages
- Took the chains off the front doors & installed security cameras that were constantly monitored
- Fixed the dim or broken lights
- Cleared out the classrooms and recycled and threw out outdated resources
- Rehauled the budget to have more funds to hire more teaachers and support staff
- Redid the schedule so that students had a better mix of academics and extracurricular activities
- One of her mottos: “What happens in a school and does not happen in a school is up to the principal.”
- Instituted a behavior program called “Nongegotionals.”
They have a football team now too.
Slogans of Tough Love
She says she is known for her many slogans that she loves. During the TED TALK she shares three.
- If you are going to lead, lead
- So what, now what
- If no one told you they love you, remember I do and always will
You can learn more about Principal Linda Cliatt-Wayman on her website at http://principalwayman.com/.
More Videos about Linda Cliatt-Wayman
And here are a few other videos featuring her as well.
Linda Cliatt-Wayman: Preparing the Next Generation | Mashable Docs
How Leadership Transformed Strawberry Mansion High School
Diane Sawyer Special: Inside Strawberry Mansion High School, Philadelphia, Pa Most Dangerous H S in America
UPDATE: Diane Sawyer Revisits a School at Risk School Called Strawberry Mansion High
Interview with Linda Cliatt-Wayman, Principal, Strawberry Mansion High School
Pennsylvania Conference for Women 2014 – Linda Cliatt-Wayman
Pennsylvania Conference for Women 2013 – Linda Cliatt-Wayman
Yes, one person can make a difference!
Read about another person and academy making a difference: the Cave of Adullam is a Transformational Training Academy (CATTA), a comprehensive martial arts program for boys in Detroit, Michigan.