An Opportunity Culture® Principal Reflects

By Sharon Kebschull Barrett, February 25, 2022

Kicking off the new “Opportunity Culture Audio” pieces that we’ll begin sharing from time to time this year, our first piece highlights Jenny O’Meara, who until 2021 served as a principal for a middle school using Opportunity Culture roles.

O’Meara, who was an Opportunity Culture Fellow in 2019–20, worked in Edgecombe County Public Schools in a rural part of North Carolina, which has taken its Opportunity Culture implementation district-wide. After stepping away from her principalship, she sat for an interview about her Opportunity Culture experience, including reflections on working with her school’s first multi-classroom leader, or MCL, and valuable lessons to share with current principals.

No More “Zoo Wallace”: Becoming a Welcoming, Successful School

By Jeremy Baugh, February 15, 2021

In 2015, when I came to Lew Wallace Elementary in Indianapolis Public Schools as its fourth principal in four years, the community referred to the school as “Zoo Wallace,” and families openly expressed disappointment in being placed there.

Still, after sending out flyers and emails and making calls home about our meet-the-teacher night, I was shocked to have only one parent show up. In my 10 years as a principal, I had never seen anything like it.

Like the parents, teachers were demoralized and disengaged. One day, the school’s only other leader, an instructional coach, and I wanted to ask a quick question of some teachers. But at 3:30, just five minutes after the kids left for the day, the teachers had all disappeared, too. Read more…

Despite Challenges, Educators Gave Us Plenty To Be Thankful For

By Paola Gilliam, November 25, 2020

This year has been unrelentingly difficult in many ways, yet educators have repeatedly risen to the occasion. Faced with events—a pandemic, political uncertainty, protests against racial injustice, and more—that have left many of us feeling overwhelmed, educators have been a beacon of hope in their communities through their continued support for their fellow educators, students, and families. We are thankful for educators who have shown compassion, innovation, and determination throughout an incredibly challenging year. Read more…

How Opportunity Culture® Principals Lead Change and Develop Leaders

By Margaret High, November 4, 2019 

Leading change and developing leaders: Opportunity Culture principals must know how to do this for student and teacher success, and Opportunity Culture Fellows are hungry for tips from their colleagues who do it well. At the Opportunity Culture Fellows Convening, a panel of principals highlighted strong hiring and communications as two keys among many to success.

Multi-School Leadership: Tools to Extend Excellent Principals’ Reach

By Sharon Kebschull Barrett, June 12, 2018

An Opportunity Culture extends the reach of excellent teaching—what about doing the same for excellent schoolwide leadership? Public Impact, which founded the national Opportunity Culture initiative, today releases a set of practical materials on Multi-School Leadership: How to extend the reach of excellent principals by having them lead a small group of schools, for more pay, funded within the budgets of their schools. Read More…