‘The road from poverty to prosperity runs right through the schoolhouse door’

TERRY GRIER

Although he admits technology and other factors are changing the face of public education and have a “dramatic impact on everything we do,” many of the basic components of a successful education remain the same.

“One thing that has not changed is the need to have strong leaders leading schools,” Grier told an audience Sept. 18 at Rice University. His talk was part of the Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning’s (CERCL) Leadership Lecture Series.

“We have to have leaders who share a common value and a common belief,” he said. “That common value we talk about is the value of the importance of the education. If you don’t hold that as a basic core belief, and believe that it is the one strategy that can change a child’s life forever, then you can’t lead from our school district.”

Grier called education “a life changer, a difference maker.”

“I like to tell people that the road from poverty to prosperity runs right through the schoolhouse door,” he said.

Leadership isn’t always easy, Grier said, but it’s imperative to student success, and a must-have for HISD teachers.

“Outstanding leaders take some pretty hardline positions,” he said. “You see, there’s no question in my mind that a good leader is a person who persuades people to do more work than they normally would do. Think about that. A leader persuades people to do more work than they normally would do. In public education, that doesn’t win you a lot of friends sometimes, but you are expected in HISD as a teacher and a leader to work and create a culture of no excuses and doing whatever it takes to help kids succeed.”

For more information on Grier, visit http://tinyurl.com/3tj73nm.

About Amy Hodges

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.