As a principal, how do you view your teachers? It’s important to consider how you view that relationship. Is it as a boss? A manager? How would you view your role as principal if you’re working with former teaching colleagues? Or even former teachers?
Dr. Marco Clark was named as principal at 30 years old of his alma mater, Bishop McNamara High School. “They were my teachers then…and they continue to be my teachers today,” says Clark when referring to those teachers. He shares his respect for those who have answered the call to be career Catholic educators in Episode #44 of the Catholic School Matters podcast. “I learn from them every day.”
Clark didn’t approach his role as a boss or as a manager. He didn’t approach his position as being in charge but as collaborative. He believed then (and believes now as president) that leadership is founded on respect. “You are given two ears but only one mouth for a reason,” says Clark, describing his leadership style.
Clark’s story is refreshing. He went back to his alma mater to become a football coach and a guidance counselor. Like many Catholic schools, Bishop McNamara had changed. In their particular case, it had transitioned from an all-boys, mostly white suburban high school staffed by Holy Cross brother to a coed mostly African-American high school staffed by lay people. Clark was called first to the principalship and now to the presidency to lead the school.
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