Seventeen faculty and staff members from Texas Woman’s University got a lesson in being the top administrator at a public school on Tuesday, Oct. 9, that no textbook could match. They got to be “principal for a day” at Dallas Independent School District campuses.
The longtime Dallas ISD program drew about 215 participants from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, including educators, legislators, business people, civic leaders and government employees, who got the opportunity to share ideas with students and learn about the daily operations and activities of a public school.
“It’s a great way for us to see our future students and learn about where they go to school – and for us to be a better partner with those schools,” said Lisa Huffman, dean of TWU’s College of Professional Education, and one of three participants from that college.
The activity works this way: Participants are assigned to an elementary, middle or high school based on mutual interests between the school and the participant. The assigned “principal” then spends the day with the school’s administration, staff and faculty. The guest principal will teach a class, meet with the student council, attend a student performance, read to students, address a class assembly or participate in other activities.
At the end of the day, the guest principals convene with the school district superintendent to discuss their experiences.
The project helps community members increase their awareness about – and learn the challenges and strengths of – public schools in the Dallas ISD.
In addition to Huffman, other TWU participants in the program were:
- Carine M. Feyten, TWU chancellor and president
- Stephanie Krauth, associate vice president for student engagement
- David Sweeten, director of Student Union and Conference Services
- Damon Cottrell, assistant dean and clinical professor in the College of Nursing
- Gabe Cruz, assistant director of Fitness & Recreation
- Corin Walker, senior learning technologist
- Amanda Zerangue, manager of digital services and library communications
- Simone Daniels, coordinator for student withdrawals and support
- Aimee Myers, an assistant professor in the Teacher Education department
- Jason Tomlinson, vice president of Finance & Administration
- Peggy Malone, an associate professor in the Teacher Education department
- Alan Utter, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs
- Elizabeth Restrepo, an associate clinical professor in the College of Nursing
- Elizabeth Durham, director of scholar programs from the Office of Student Life
- Christopher Johnson, Chief of Staff
- Stephanie Brown, associate vice president for student enrichment, health and support