As the new Community Mobilization Manager at the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, I was glad to learn that my first visit to a school in this role would be to Edward White High School. The school has come to international fame for the Mannequin Challenge, and I have to feel pride in the creativity coming out of Jacksonville. It’s not hard to see why the freedom of expression and creativity is easily flowing out of the students there.
Behind a great student body there’s always a committed, open, flexible and passionate principal.
That’s what Ed White is honored to have in Principal Bloom. I was impressed, not just by his willingness to listen to students, but also by his openness to seeing their ideas executed in order to improve their school experience as well as the experiences of the underclassmen coming behind them. This is the type of leadership that is increasingly becoming the catalyst for improving low-performing schools into models of success.
Jacksonville Public Education Fund is committed to working with and supporting this kind of work.
We see the opportunity and the potential in schools like Ed White. We see the various customized leadership opportunities, such as the Student Leadership Council, being developed by both the leaders of Ed White and the students themselves. We see the strong commitment to establishing partnerships within the community that extend beyond school walls. Lastly, we see that the climate Principal Bloom is committed to developing is one that activates the capacities and skills of each student to be leaders in their own right.
Over the next few months we will be working with Ed White and a few other schools to facilitate the implementation of programs developed around the specific suggestions and insights from students during the Student Voice events. Some of the themes that have been identified include amplifying student voices, providing real life work experiences and strengthening community partnerships. We are continuing our efforts to elevate student voices and are excited to help schools implement projects that will help students achieve success.