Imagine you’re a principal trying to get ready for the new school year. It’s a big challenge – a thousand different tasks to get done, a hundred things that could go wrong, and all of it resting on your shoulders. If you’re a first-time principal it’s even tougher, because on top of all those expectations, you will essentially be learning on the job.
Now consider this scenario:
It’s a new school year, you’re a first-time principal, and your school is closing at the end of the year, reopening in a temporary space next school year, and relocating yet again 12 to 18 months after that, in a brand-new building. That’s the exact situation facing Principal Bernarda Kwaw at Govans Elementary School, a Baltimore Curriculum Project neighborhood charter school. Although Principal Kwaw was “feeling excited and anxious” a few days before the start of the school year, in a recent interview she seemed remarkably calm. “My husband reminded me that I’ve been doing this for 25 years,” said Principal Kwaw, who taught at Collington Square Elementary/Middle School in East Baltimore for two decades and was assistant principal at Govans for the last three years.