You can chose to close the gap between poor and rich children. I have deliberately chosen to do so. Our students are cross-culturally educated. They are comfortable with diversity and can relate to anyone from anywhere. They are the leaders of tomorrow in a changing world,” said Dr. Cynthia Wise, Principal of Ned E. Williams Elementary School.
The grand occasion was Parents Teachers Association meeting and 1st graders celebration of Cinco de Mayo. Cynthia Wise, principal of Ned E. Williams recently earned a doctor of education degree. In addition, she was named the Texas African American Educator of the Year. According to Wise, she decided to get a doctorate degree in order to increase effectiveness and efficiency. Moreover, “I wanted to be a role model for my family, children, and grand children. When I die, the ones coming after me, can feel confident that I have set the bar high enough hence they have to reach for the stars,” she said. Secondly, I want to set an example for my school family on campus. My teachers can say, our principal did it so, I can do it. Our students can say, our principal did it, if I work hard, I can do it too-achieve set goals.”
In her school, reading is fundamental. Therefore, Wise wants students to learn to read, comprehend what they read, and be able to answer questions on there reading. She explained the reason why her students have to pay much attention to reading, “In most homes, there are no magazines or books. These things cost money and parents do not read,” she said. “Television, videos and movies are mainstays in the homes of our students. They are not exposed to reading. Nonetheless, reading is essential for everything we do.”
Wise explained how someone can travel to other places via reading. “We teach students that you travel via reading without leaving Longview,” Wise said. “You can travel with your mind and eyes through the book. Then, if your really want to go, you work hard and make it happen.”
The rewards of reading are many. “Our goal is to teach students to read to the point where they have the stamina to stick with it. This is really what the new STAAR test is all about,”Wise said. “They do well on maths because it is about formulas. But reading is not so. We are teaching students to read, re-read and re-read again till you understand the passage. This takes much staying power plus encouragement. So, she encourages her students to read 25 books of their choice and receive $25. Paying for is working very well.
Wise, is passionate about her students and staff. She works closely with staff and for students’ success.
Story and Photos by Joycelyne Fadojutimi