Edited By Carrie Rogers, Kofi Lomotey and Adriel Hilton
Chapter Seven: Culturally Responsive Principal Leadership: A Case Study (Kendra Lowery / Kofi Lomotey)
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Culturally Responsive Principal Leadership
A Case Study
KENDRA LOWERY AND KOFI LOMOTEY
Kamau Nkrumah, the principal of Shirley Chisholm Elementary School (SCEC), located in a northeastern city, was celebrating, having recently received the Johnson Family Award. He won the award for being designated as the outstanding educator of the year. This national award is given annually to two educators who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to the students and families in their community, contributing to their pre-collegiate and postsecondary success. Recipients receive $10,000 and a community celebration. During the award ceremony, three former and three current Chisholm students stood up to talk about how Principal Nkrumah had changed their lives.
The occasion prompted Principal Nkrumah to reflect on the rich experiences and continuing challenges he faced at Chisholm. He and his staff had developed close relationships with members of the community over the past 10 years. Several of the staff who had been with the principal throughout his entire tenure grew up in the community and had established trusting relationships with students and families—a crucial component of culturally responsive leadership. Many of his senior staff had been leaders in the building. They were considered respected elders and were mentors to the younger staff.
Over the past three years more than a third of his senior staff had retired, necessitating the hiring of several new faculty and staff. The district entered...
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