Principal Appreciation Week: Meet Michele Clark’s Principal
SCHOOLS | October 10, 2018
Principal Appreciation Week: Meet Michele Clark’s Principal

Principals work hard every day to meet the needs of their students, parents, and staff, and we are so excited to celebrate them during the week of October 7-13 for Principal Appreciation Week.

Principal: Charles Anderson
School: Michele Clark High School
One of the things we push with our students is to have faith and integrity, to sacrifice, be leaders, and leave a legacy.”

Words do matter, and depending on the source, can have the power to influence. That’s what Michele Clark High School Principal Charles Anderson discovered early in life — when a fifth grade teacher told him to never become a teacher.

“I believed in the words of that teacher so much that I said, ‘Ok you’re right, I don’t want to be one.’”

Anderson chose a different path early in his career, but , he said his true passion always led him back to teaching in some way.

“I might start off in sales, but then I transitioned to training,” Anderson said. “I kept finding my way into instruction, and in my heart, I always knew I would end up teaching.”

One day, he reached out to the principal at Westinghouse, who was his former counselor, and asked for a chance. He said he wanted to give education a try.

The words of Anderson’s former teacher not only held him back from pursuing his passion, but also stick with him to this day. This is why Anderson stresses the importance of words to his own staff now.

I always tell them to be careful of the words you say to our students because it can deter them and take them in the wrong direction,” Anderson said. “I could’ve been that kid who didn’t come back. I’m always telling them that the words we put out to students can potentially change their trajectory on life. Sometimes those words have a huge impact on the decisions that we make.”

The West Side native said that growing up in the community has helped him better connect with students.

“I know some of the struggles in our Austin community because I’ve been a part of it,” Anderson said. “For me, it’s been about getting students to expand their thoughts and helping them feel like they’re worthy of having certain opportunities too.”
He makes sure that every student feels appreciated and valued. For example, things like birthdays don’t go unnoticed at Michele Clark. Students are given a special button to wear, which lets people know it’s their birthday.

“Our school culture is one of celebration,” Anderson said.

Students are also pushed to have faith in themselves, act with integrity, make necessary sacrifices, be a leader, and leave a legacy. Anderson said his goal is to impact each and every student before they leave Michele Clark to continue their post-secondary journey.

“I’m looking to create a quality, holistic education for our students that transfers to their home life, which then transforms to their neighborhoods and communities,” he said. “Only then, as a people, do we change our society.”