Education News

New Houston Principals Get Extra Training at Summer Boot Camp

Principals take on a whole host of duties to run a campus and often are credited with a school’s success — or struggle.

This school year, Isaac Daniels will take the helm at Hobby Elementary. It will mark his first year as a principal.
This school year, Isaac Daniels will take the helm at Hobby Elementary. It will mark his first year as a principal.

In August, Isaac Daniels will take the helm at Hobby Elementary, leading the entire campus as its new principal.

To get ready, Daniels joined about two dozen other new principals at a summer boot camp this month. The goal: extra coaching and practical tools for a new and demanding job.

“Actually somebody that is way smarter than me told me that you learn most from people, so I’m so excited to just learn from the people that are in this room, make connections and build long lasting relationships with,” Daniels said.

HISD’s chief academic officer, Grenita Lathan, said that it’s a challenge for new school leaders to juggle the unexpected.

“You can be planning to be in a classroom at 8 a.m. and there’s something that happens with a student out on the playground, or on the bus before they get to school,” Lathan said. “But being able to manage your time effectively is a major struggle for first-year principals.”

To ease that challenge, HISD is holding its New Leaders Institute at Texas Southern University, where for two weeks, new principals gain practical tips, an overview of the massive district and some mentorship.

Thayer Hutcheson said that she wants to learn all about budgeting. She said that she’s excited and a little nervous to take the helm at Briargrove Elementary.

“It’s a new hat to wear, it’s a new group of people with whom I need to form relationships, and it’s a new group of students that I have the opportunity to serve,” she said.

Adding to the pressure, principals are often credited with a school’s success — or struggle.

 

HISD is holding a new leaders institute to prepare new principals for more responsibilities and new duties this fall.
HISD is holding a new leaders institute to prepare new principals for more responsibilities and new duties this fall.

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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