Principal Macquline King-Morris stepped out of the way of two lines of students heading to the Courtenay Language Arts Center gym. But the stream of elementary-school kids rerouted themselves to deliver hugs, high fives, and huge grins.
Creating a pre-k-8 school where every student feels welcome is at the top of King-Morris’s list of priorities. With a student population that is 48 percent black, 35 percent Hispanic, 9 percent white, and 6 percent Asian, Courtenay is one of the most diverse schools in Chicago, a city known for its stark racial segregation, and King-Morris thinks about inclusivity a lot.
“For me, regardless of the child in front of you, all children can learn if they’re taught,” King-Morris said. “It’s important you don’t get mired in distractions.”
King-Morris, who is black, places her own racial identity low on the list of qualities that make her a good school leader. Instead, she cites her 12 years of teaching, her rigorous principal training through the nonprofit New Leaders program, her propensity to foster teacher leadership, and her willingness to listen. (The Atlantic)