Principal Spotlight: De'Jenne Grant

Written by Chicago International Charter School
25 October 2022
Posted in Educator Spotlight

Principal De’Jenne Grant currently leads our CICS Avalon campus. She works alongside other talented leaders and we are proud to have her as a leader for our staff and students. 

This is De’Jenne’s first year with CICS Avalon and in her short time with the network she has already made strides in fostering meaningful relationships with her students. There is nothing that she wouldn’t do for her campus and she makes sure to show that day in and day out. 

To learn more about De’Jenne and her role as principal, please read below. Also, if you would like to learn more about CICS Avalon please feel free to visit their website and Facebook page. 

1. Why did you decide to become a principal?

I chose to become a principal because of the larger impact I knew I could make on a school community. As I grew from math teacher to Assistant Principal to now Principal, I am able to reach more and more scholars and families. The efforts that I continue to make to better my community are constantly expanded every time I grow and becoming Principal has allowed me to directly impact over 200 scholars, their families and teachers. 

2. What is one thing you are looking forward to in the new school year?

One thing I am looking forward to in the new school year is the amount of growth that will occur for scholars and staff. With the pandemic, there was a huge loss of learning and teacher growth, and my hope this year is to continue to close those gaps by coaching teachers to grow, which will directly impact scholars to grow as well. 

3. What is one skill that you have that makes you a great principal?

One skill that makes me a great principal is my ability to connect to scholars because of my experience growing up as a Black girl in a low-income community in the South Bronx with my mother. 

4. Name something that you are proud of on or about your campus.

I am proud of how hungry and eager my staff is to grow and be better each day. My entire staff has a growth mindset and constantly puts scholars first. Every day, they make me proud to be their principal.

5. How do you make positive connections with your students?

I make positive connections through my interactions during hallway transitions and classroom observations. Also, during breakfast, lunch and 'Fun Friday' when scholars are engaging in thought-provoking questions. 

6. How are you making those connections now?

I am currently making connections with scholars now by teaching a 7th grade math block. During this time, it allows scholars to know me as their teacher and it also allows them time to ask questions about content while also getting to know my personality. This makes it easier to have accountability conversations because of the relationships I am building with them. 

7.  What is your vision for student success this year?

My vision for student success this year is that every single scholar grows academically in both ELA and Math. For my 5th and 6th graders, my goal is that they are successful in their end of year state exams. For my 7th graders, it is preparing them to be successful in their academics and ensuring they are ready for their high school admission exams at the beginning of next year. For my 8th graders, it is ensuring they each get accepted into a high school of their choice and feel successful after graduation.

8. Education is ever-evolving. If money / resources / time were not an issue, what would you do to improve your school?

I would ensure that we have more teachers in school to close the content gaps. I would also see to it that every scholar could participate in content tutoring with resources to take home every day. I would make sure every scholar had an activity that they could participate in after school! 

__________________

De’Jenne attended Adelphi University for her undergraduate degree in New York and then went on to attend Mercy College where she earned her Master’s degree.

De’Jenne is big on family and believes her school and home family are one and the same. While at school, she enjoys watching math lessons and seeing both students and staff flourish in their element. Outside of school, she tends to enjoy cooking, traveling and spending time with her dog, family and friends.

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