Huffman High School: Empowering STEM Educational Leaders
My launching pad for the provision of educational enlightenment is located at Huffman High School in Birmingham, Alabama; a prime environment for emerging STEM educational leaders. So many great teachers, leaders and future school-based and district administrators taught first at Huffman High School, the place where it is ALWAYS, "A Great Day to be a Viking!". Under the leadership of Huffman's Principal, Dr. John C. Lyons, Jr., we arrived as teachers and left as well-prepared educational leaders. "It's a blessing and a curse for us here at Huffman.", states Dr. Lyons when asked about the emergence of so many great leaders from one school on the far east of the City of Birmingham. Huffman is the largest high school in the Birmingham City Schools district, boasting a robust 1,200-plus student population.
The career-changing experiences I have been exposed to as an educational leader are primarily due to the mentorship of the Huffman High and Birmingham City Schools administration that poured directly into my professional life. The partnerships that were created and continue to thrive exist because others believed in my ability to lead. I proudly represent my district and state now in Washington, D.C. as an Einstein Fellow. I know that because of them, I am! I am most appreciative of all of the opportunities that were afforded to me because of the strong mentorship principles that the Birmingham City Schools District facilitates.
Developing STEM Leaders
I love that you showcased this gem! Continue to share the little known secret of Huffman High School where developing leaders is the standard!
In reply to Developing STEM Leaders by Sharon Delesbore
It's my mission to continue this standard and expand for the future!
So many ways for teachers to lead!
Hi Candyce and Huffman High School teacher-leaders,
I *love* that your video highlighted ALL the ways that leadership happens at schools, as well as how effective school and teacher leadership takes into account students' experiences and well-being in different, overlapping ways -- from athletics to college-readiness to social and emotional learning! I think that multi-dimensionality can get overlooked by folks who aren't in a school day in and day out.
As someone new in the "mentoring local colleagues" part of my teaching career, I'd love toly know more about the leadership development you all experience/create for teachers. What's in the day-to-day that helps teachers grow their capacity and learn new things?
Thanks for this glimpse into the work that you all do!! :) Kirstin
In reply to So many ways for teachers to lead! by Kirstin Milks
Sharing the vision
I am willing to share with you the vision of our administration for developing teacher leaders and how to implement anywhere! We are always learning and growing in order to enrich the lives of our students!
Paying it forward!
Wow! This webinar was fantastic! What a great way to demonstrate the STEM resources that are available to the students of Huffman High School! Ms. Candyce thank you for your due diligence in preparing the future leaders of STEM education! This is a great way to get them involved in technology and for them to find passion in those areas! As a former Management Information Systems major at AAMU I know the strenuous challenges that comes with science and mathematics but it is a blessing to know that they have a passionate leader like yourself to guide them throughout their journey! Good luck and keep up the great work preparing our future leaders for higher education!
In reply to Paying it forward! by Meryle Brown
Thank you Meryle! So proud…
Thank you Meryle! So proud of your success and determination! Keep shining!
Thank you for sharing your and your colleagues' inspirational stories. The leaders at your school seem to be invested in mentoring. Their commitment to mentoring is helping your STEM faculty and students thrive. I agree that mentoring is critical for retaining highly effective teachers. Congratulations on your successes!
In reply to Go Vikings! by Liza Bondurant
Thank you Liza! We decided…
Thank you Liza! We decided that our growth professionally started with us making a difference with our colleagues and their professional growth and it has truly paid off!
Teacher Leaders Matter
Thanks for sharing your inspirational video! I’m curious to know how the Viking teacher leader model translates to students choosing and being successful in STEM careers (blogs, videos, teacher action research).
In reply to Teacher Leaders Matter by Wanda Bryant
This model is just one way…
This model is just one way that we inspire students. Many of our students have progressed into STEM majors and careers because of the programs that were created at Huffman within our Academies, STEM fairs/bowls & competitions beginning on the district level. We don’t depend on one avenue to promote STEM fields/careers in our building. Our principal mentioned a few programs in the video. Influence in the clarion sparks the interest and we keep the fires burning by offering opportunities to cultivate their interest. Thanks for your comment!
In reply to This model is just one way… by CANDYCE CURRY
I agree about cultivating interest and access
When I taught in Detroit, students were given surveys annually to gather input on teacher impact. I wondered if Huffman has used a similar data collection tool combined with let’s say 5 years post high school graduation.
Sometimes as teachers we might not know the future impact of our work.
In reply to I agree about cultivating interest and access by Wanda Bryant
Our district administers…
Our district administers student surveys annually for reasons other than our programming. These results may or may not correlate with the goals of our teacher mentoring program. Our mentoring model is designed to address teacher shortage, protection and support for new teachers. Student impact would be another extension that could be explored. Thank you for your suggestion.
Proud of you!
I love Huffman High School teachers. #Classof22
In reply to Proud of you! by Mizani King
Thank you! Best faculty, students and alumni ever! 🏾
I’m so very proud of you!!
I love Huffman High School teachers💚. #Classof22
Thanks for the love! We love…
Thanks for the love! We love our students! 🏾
I love how you showcased that our African American students can learn and love STEM. I love to see students experience joyful learning. This was displayed throughout the video. LOVE IT!!!
In reply to Love It! by Carla Neely
Thank you Carla for viewing…
Thank you Carla for viewing and commenting! Most of our students truly have a desire to learn and are "open books" to whomever is willing to "write in their book". Since I began teaching over 20 years ago, I have been determined to engage my students and expose them to ideas and practices that will enrich their lives and create a spark for learning and furthering their STEM knowledge. This has been an amazing ride and because I LOVE what I teach it resonates with my students!
You are a rock star! I love how your school develops leaders from within. I am sure that this sends a powerful message to your students as they watch their science teachers develop professionally and pursue other skills and passions.
Thank you for sharing this story,
In reply to Cultivate Leaders by Jacqueline Katz
Sharing the vision
Thank you Jackie! I didn't realize what an amazing program we had until I was challenged to write about it. I am proud to put on display the amazing work that educators do in Birmingham, specifically at Huffman High School. SO many educators around the world do amazing things inside their niche everyday because it is their passion and life's work. It is due time that we share what we are doing to accelerate and change the lives of so many!
Keep up the great work!
Congratulations, Candye, on all your accomplishments and your work to empower STEM educational leaders!
I wonder, does your district have a "requirement" of when teachers can become STEM educational leaders? I ask this because some districts in my community are short-staffed with teachers and educational leaders that if you are a third-year teacher in district, you are considered a veteran teacher and are encouraged (?assumed?) to take on a leadership role.
Thank you for viewing our…
Thank you for viewing our story Elegan. Our district does not have any mandates on when you become or begin your ascension into the leadership realm of education. We are strongly encourage to develop professionally how we see fit. Because of that encouragement that leads some of us to the path earlier than others.
Model of Excellence
I absolutely love the way Huffman creates capacity within their teachers throughout the school. Further, I love how those who ascend up the ladder continue to help others rise, too. This is a fantastic model that all schools should follow. Too often, STEM leaders are overlooked for leadership positions within a school. However, Hoffman puts STEM teachers front and center, which is remarkable and inspirational. I hope other districts view this video and are open to making changes. No doubt this is also an inspirational model for students to learn what true leadership looks like. Thank you so much for sharing this video!
In reply to Model of Excellence by Tyler Dufrene
Tyler, Thank you for your…
Thank you for your comments! Huffman is an amazing and unique school! Please share the video with your district and others that may need a push in the right direction of teacher mentoring and STEM educational leadership!
I Want to Know More!
How many students do you have involved in those STEM competitions and events? Do you find that it is balanced between males and females? Have you seen an increase in HS students taking extra/advanced/elective STEM or CS courses? I love the focus of teacher leaders to promote students' growth in STEM!
In reply to I Want to Know More! by Jodi Zeis
Jodi, Thank you for viewing…
Thank you for viewing the video. I really can't quantify the number of students in the mentioned competitions over time. Our district really invests in students K-12 competing on a district, regional, state levels and beyond. I have been in the district for over 18 years. Our school has a few Academies in the STEM area and the population of students in these academies alone are in the hundreds (grades 9-12). That does not include pure subject area competitions.
Usually, there is a balance in genders that participate these mentioned activities. Our students are invested in educational growth and they often recruit friends and peers that they know will be able to give them an advantage against others in competitions.
Over the past five years, I have seen an increase in students taking advanced classes at my school. I believe there are many factors that have contributed to that trend.
I hope I've addressed your questions. :| Thank you for your questions and comments!
What a great example of how…
What a great example of how empowering our teachers for true leadership roles adds value and worth to all. Everyone benefits when teachers are given the freedom to model collaboration and excellent coaching. Your Principal has it exactly right! Keep up the great work and thank you for reminding us all that mentorships = success.
In reply to What a great example of how… by Rebecca Cummings
Thank you Rebecca! Many…
Thank you Rebecca! Many times we as teachers forget that there are avenues that don't take lots of time but express high yield and impact and that is through mentoring! It also makes a difference with teacher retention.
Inspiration for teacher leaders
What an inspiring video that showcases teacher leadership in STEM and just in general. This is a wonderful example of different pathways that teachers can take in seeking out educational leadership roles, sometimes without leaving the classroom.
It sounds as though the higher level classes are taught by longer term, more accomplished teachers. Is that the case? With so many leaders in a building, is it difficult to continue to create opportunities for growth? Do those leadership roles have additional compensation?
Thanks for showing the different paths that teachers might take!
Inspiration to Students and Teachers!
Your video truly shows how inspiring you are in your work to create more equitable teaching and learning opportunities. I also appreciate the reminders that teachers can be leaders *in the classroom* and we don't have to become administrators to create positive change on campus.