This has nothing to do with Georgia politics, but it’s one of the most inspirational stories I’ve ever read — a tale of genuine leadership at its finest. If Glenn Richardson is serious about the state of OUR educational system in this state, I suggest he pay a visit to the Bronx. On my tax dollar even. There’s something to be learned here for anyone. From today’s NYTimes:
Junior High School 22, in the South Bronx, had run through six principals in just over two years when Shimon Waronker was named the seventh.
On his first visit, in October 2004, he found a police officer arresting a student and calling for backup to handle the swelling crowd. Students roamed the hallways with abandon; in one class of 30, only 5 students had bothered to show up. “It was chaos,” Mr. Waronker recalled. “I was like, this can’t be real.”
Teachers, parents and students at the school, which is mostly Hispanic and black, were equally taken aback by the sight of their new leader: A member of the Chabad-Lubavitch sect of Hasidic Judaism with a beard, a black hat and a velvet yarmulke.
“The talk was, ‘You’re not going to believe who’s running the show,’ ” said Lisa DeBonis, now an assistant principal.
At a time when the Bloomberg administration has put principals at the center of its efforts to overhaul schools, making the search for great school leaders more pressing than ever, the tale of Mr. Waronker shows that sometimes, the most unlikely of candidates can produce surprising results.