NOTE: Links are listed in alphabetical order by name of the group, not city or specific location. For best results, look through the entire list, especially as group. Warren Gamaliel Harding (November 2, – August 2, ) was the 29th President of the United States, serving from March 4, , until his death in England's best and worst performing secondaries at GCSE have been revealed. The Henrietta Barnett School in Barnet came out on top last year, with an average scored.
But those numbers aren't people. So I put the numbers to the side then I just look at the people, " says East High's Executive Principal Lischa Barrett '91 , now Lischa Brooks. East High's overall academic performance has been dismal for many years. A succession of principals, eight in the past 21 years, have not been able to substantially raise the levels. For the past school year, , the average composite ACT score at East was For those who are more familiar with the ACT before when it changed, the That's up about a half point from the previous year.
The graduation rate was cited at The East High Alumni Page has focused on the ACT scores as the one consistent and comparable measure of academic performance for many years and believes it to be the best measurement available.
Barrett was appointed Executive Principal February 20 to lead East High into its transition into an admission-by-application-only optional magnet school using the transportation industry as a focus for a science, technology, engineering, and math oriented curriculum, or T-STEM for short. The conversion will take place over the next four years, with the ninth graders starting in August, , being the first group of all optional students. Barrett was principal at the Maxine Smith STEAM Academy STEAM is STEM with arts included , a middle school at what was once known as Fairview Junior High.
Although she will be the top administrator at East High, her executive principal role also leaves her as the top administrator at Maxine Smith. Both schools will also have interim principals overseeing day to day operations. And while the data is scary, while the numbers, we could talk about the graduation rate, the literacy and the math, that doesn't tell the picture," according to Barrett.
The Shelby County School system, of which East High is now a part, often describes itself as "data driven.
If Barrett puts the numbers aside and looks at people, what does she see? When I was talking to two young ladies [at East High] yesterday, they don't know who I am. They don't even know why I was in the building but we had a very good conversation. Those experiences are what make me forget about the data and just see the children as children And so when I look at things that to me are daunting or that are scary, I have to remind myself that those are people that live there, that attend that school.
So who am I just to stand back and say, oh, that's scary what they have to deal with. That is their life. They wake up, they go to school there and if I don't embrace that with my whole heart and see them as more than a number then I'll stay in that place of fear and I refuse to because when I see them I see children. Despite her relating to the children as people instead of numbers, Barrett admits, "There's a lot of work to be done but I can't forget we're talking about people and we're talking about a community.
Barrett says she has a four pronged plan to reach out beyond the school, a plan she said she would reveal at a later date. The plight of East is about our community I think the work that needs to be done is work that has to occur outside the four walls. I have sort of, and I'll discuss it later, a plan to look at what those scaffolding things should look like, you know, within the community because we can't do it by ourselves. I can have all the ideas in the world, but there is some work that has to be done but I don't think it belongs to us as educators alone.
For almost a decade and a half the Peer Power Foundation, originally known as The Greater East High Foundation, has held after school tutoring sessions and other academic enrichment opportunities for students without cost to them. Alumnus Chas McVean '61 was the impetus and, for the most part, the money behind that effort, which continues to this day. Christ United Methodist Church has been involved in supporting and encouraging athletics at East. Despite these efforts, the academic achievement for the East High student body as a whole has not made significant progress, according to ACT scores.
Barrett believes that additional outside involvement will help turn the tide. And I think us continuing to work together and maybe looking at some other areas, maybe bringing in industry which is really exciting about T-STEM, is that right now we have almost 20 different companies that are going to come along side the work that's being done there right now.
It is not known whether the lower number now being used repeatedly by various sources represents an actual pull back by some outfits or, probably more likely, a more realistic assessment of what kind of support an entity is likely to give.
With the broader approach, Barrett emphatically proclaims, "I believe in wrap around services! Barrett thinks the wider scope of services should extend beyond the East High families.
In the plan there won't be a per se feeder but I definitely believe in wrap around services for those potential feeders. So I think we'll still be able to tap into the community I want to look at the students that could be here, the students that could benefit from all the industry partners that are coming along side saying, you know what, at the end of your high school career we're going to have people that are going to work with you and get you ready to get industry certified.
And I think that is going to be a huge lift for the entire community. But at the same time the rigor is going to be such that students that are in the 99th percentile are going to be able to soar There will be a lift there for everyone. It gets real in exactly four months, on August 7, , when school opens with the ninth grade at East High consisting entirely of T-STEM optional students.
In announcing the new leadership role it was explained by Shelby County Schools that "Brooks will be supported by Dr. Marilyn Hilliard [current principal] at East High, while Assistant Principal Keith Booker will serve as Interim Principal at Maxine Smith for the remaining of this school year.
Maxine Smith is a grade six through eight fully optional middle school where academic achievement has impressed the school district. It is located in the building which once was Fairview Junior High. STEAM is like STEM but adds the A for arts. When Hopson asked if she would be interested in leading East High into its transition to an all-optional, enrollment-by-application-only, T-STEM Transportation oriented focus on science, technology, engineering and math school, Barrett says, "my first thought was yeah, and then my first-and-a-half thought was, what about STEAM?
She asked what he was thinking, and he said a six through twelve [grade] continuum and recalls the idea Hopson presented. The unique thing about the way he envisions this is that as executive principal I would still have a role in both schools and so that this would end up being, maybe, a six through twelve continuum I would still have a principal here at Maxine Smith and a principal at East High School and we all sort of work together with me as executive principal to move forward, to move this whole idea of STEM education forward and looking at it as a six through twelve continuum.
What does that mean for East High as it begins its transition beginning, for students, in August with the new school year and completing the change over in ? She continues, "And then to build a culture where students are valued, that they are challenged, that they really feel inspired to think out of the box and that we are preparing them, you know, to once again strengthen our city.
That's the vision he [Hopson] had for it and I'm just trying to run with it. During a four year transition, there will be both traditional students at East, today's ninth graders will be given the chance to graduate at East through the traditional curriculum, and T-STEM or Engineering.
Barrett, therefore, has responsibility not only for Maxine Smith STEAM Academy and East High's T-STEM program, but also East High's traditional curriculum students. I'm here, I'm there When you look at next school year, I've thought of a lot of different models: I've thought of three-two, two-three, half morning, half afternoon, half afternoon, half morn, I've thought of a lot of different things.
I think my personality probably lends itself to be, like, being here, there, and everywhere. Barrett says she does not yet know exactly how the administrative functions at East will be structured after the end of this school year. She says there will be a discussion then about the leadership personnel.
It's going to be more than one person. It definitely won't be about me. It's going to require different leadership positions in order to make that happen and what that looks like I dare not tell my superintendent. He said my job number one is to get T-STEM up and running and the day to day operations of Maxine Smith and of East High School are going to rest with the interim principals of those respective programs The East High Alumni Page has a long standing policy to refer to alumni by the names by which they were known at East.
In the case of Lischa Barrett this causes a dilemma. She is now connected to East not only as a former student and graduate of the school but also as its executive principal under her married name of Lischa Brooks.
The East High Alumni Page is choosing to follow its policy in most references. No disrespect is intended. One of her majors in college was pre-med but she eventually pursued another career. Now she is being called upon to heal an ailing East High School. Barrett was asked to lead East High as it transitions from an under enrolled and under performing traditional high school with one optional magnet program to a fully optional-only, admission-by-qualifying-application, transportation oriented science, technology, engineering, and math T-STEM focused high school.
It will not be the first time Barrett is heavily involved with East High. She attended the school from seventh grade through graduation in Years later as she worked in educational administration, East was in the school district's region she helped guide. Growing up in the city as a native Memphian, Barrett says she did not live in the East High attendance zone but was attracted to the school because of its health sciences optional school program.
She was heavily involved in the Health Occupation Students of America HOSA club, the Honor Society, the student council, and was a cheerleader. She attended a summer program in the northeast between her freshman and sophomore years and found New England to be to her liking. As an upper classman at East, Barrett joined the Memphis Challenge program, an endeavor which describes itself as one that "coaches high-achieving, underrepresented students, through leadership and professional development, preparing them to become future Memphis leaders" and was an early graduate of that program.
Speaking about Memphis Challenge, Barrett says "what they wanted was for students actually, for college, to leave Memphis Dartmouth College successfully recruited her. She majored in the classics, emphasis on Latin, and in pre-med. After college she returned to Memphis and took a job with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center as a senior research lab assistant.
One of the duties in that position was to work with high school students involved in a UTHSC summer program. Barrett says one of her UTHSC colleagues who observed her interaction with the high school students told her, "you really have a knack for teaching, you're really good with kids. Barrett's response, "it's like no, I'm going to med school. At the time, her high school principal at East High, Ronnie Bynum, was principal at Central High School.
She had kept in contact with him since her time at East. She went to see him and told him about the teaching conversation and that she liked to teach. Barrett recalls that Bynum, said, "of course you do, I saw that in you a long time ago, you're a natural teacher. I was a year out of college and I wasn't really enjoying the medical field that much I really began to have some conversations with myself about what am I passionate about She taught Latin, "her first love," in traditional, honors, and AP Advanced Placement classes for eight years at Central High.