You are hereMichele Hodge Stallings ('94)

Michele Hodge Stallings ('94)

Michele Hodge Stallings ('94)

1. Basic Information:

Name: Michele Hodge Stallings
Title: Registrar/Testing Coordinator
Organization: KIPP Gaston College Preparatory
City: Gaston State: NC Country: USA

2. Educational Record:

At Marietta College:
Graduation Year: 1994
Major(s): B.S. in Chemistry Summa Cum Laude
Minor(s): French and Leadership Studies
Certificate(s): Leadership

Honors/Awards: Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Beta Kappa, Marietta College Alumni Association Community Service Award

3. Describe your organization and what you do in this organization (job responsibilities, recent projects, work environment).

KIPP is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public schools with a track record of preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. KIPP began in 1994 when two teachers, Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin, launched a fifth grade public school program in inner-city Houston, TX, after completing their commitment to Teach for America.

There are currently 65 KIPP schools in 19 states and the District of Columbia serving over 16,000 students. KIPP Gaston College Preparatory is just one of these schools that builds partnership among parents, students, and teachers that puts learning first.

In 2001, I joined the founding staff of KIPP Gaston College Preparatory as its 5 th grade science teacher after having taught high school Chemistry and Physics for three years as a 1998 Teach for America corps member. At GCP, we added a new grade each year, and we finally expanded to a full 5 th-8 th grade school in 2004. Over the course of that time, I continued to teach 5 th grade science, but also taught some sections of 6 th and 8 th grade science, PE, French, and Band.

This year, I am moving into a new role as the school registrar. In 2005, we opened our high school with 9 th grade, and this year, those students, which were my first 5 th graders in 2001, are graduating. As a part of my registrar role, I will make sure the students’ transcripts, GPA’s, and other pertinent information is accurate for their college application process.

4. Briefly discuss how "leadership" plays a role in your professional field.

As a classroom teacher, you, not by choice either, are a leader. When a room full of 25-30 youngsters are sitting there the first day of school and their eyes are all on you, you literally are put on the spot to lead them. In your classroom, you are responsible for leading your students to meet or exceed the goals that have been set forth and you have to do whatever it takes to get the kids there. But, the responsibilities of a classroom teacher go beyond the classroom, Implementing leadership skills is important when dealing with parents, administration, and the community.

In the field of education, your impact on students isn’t limited to just being their teacher. You often have the opportunity to coach sports, sponsor clubs, serve as grade or department chair, and organize extracurricular activities. Success in each of these roles is guided by a person’s ability to lead well.

5. Briefly discuss how the McDonough Leadership Program prepared you for this professional field and leadership challenges.

When I first stepped foot on Marietta’s campus in 1990, I was dead set on going to medical school when I graduated. I took almost all of the required pre med classes by my junior year and declared Chemistry (finally, after 2 years of uncertainty) my major. However, it was my volunteer experiences through the leadership program that gave me insight into other career paths that I never thought of.

My freshman year at Marietta, I started volunteering at the Marietta YMCA in the areas of youth programming and sports. Under the direction of Tedd Maxfield, I had the opportunity to coach and officiate youth sports, help run youth lock-ins, and organize activities for fun nights. By my senior year, I was sometime left “in charge” when he wasn’t present.

These experiences at the YMCA definitely had a profound impact on my life. Not only did they drive my career decisions in a dramatically different direction than I ever imagined, but they made me realize several key points that I feel have lead to my success as an educator:

1) Bravery is necessary for success
2) Time management is of up most importance
3) Delegating responsibilities maintains sanity
4) Teamwork makes problem solving easier
5) Communication is a vital component to the learning process

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