I am blessed to have a variety of amazing experiences and meet incredible people while working at Discovery. Interestingly, it’s some of the most quiet moments with extraordinary educators that make the biggest impact.
We had just finished a 3-day summit with principals from around the nation at our headquarters and my colleagues and I were at the airport with D’Andre Weaver, principal of Brooks Academy in Chicago, when the flight was cancelled due to storms. This storm had a silver lining. An hour later, we had the opportunity to walk the monuments with D’Andre for his first time. The Lincoln Memorial is breathtaking, but watching D’Andre walk the steps and take it all in left me speechless. He knew where he stood, knew what it meant, and I could see him looking back in history and toward his future all at the same time. I snapped the pictures below, because I wanted to try to capture the essence of the experience. I knew D’Andre’s passion, dedication, and wisdom would allow him to do great things.
Fast forward two years. Imagine how my heart leapt when the president himself, when dedicating the new national monuments, said in the first 2 minutes, he had the privilege of meeting Chicago’s amazing youngest principal D’Andre Weaver. WOOT! I knew that man! I can honestly and without hesitation say that was a well deserved presidential call out!
D’Andre Weaver is the principal of Brooks College Preparatory Academy in Chicago Public Schools, where he has spent the last three years working to transform a culture of mediocrity to excellence. He’s worked with this faculty and students to renovate their expectations of what’s possible by increasing levels of collaboration and effort in all tasks. It was not always easy, but he did not grow weary in doing well. The district called him this year to inform him that his site’s scores showed the highest growth in the district. These clearly tangible results gave an incredible boost to his faculty and students. They have recently launched a brand new department of STEM education, where all teachers have dual certifications in math/science and are creating integrated curriculum for their students. D’Andre knows it takes an entire community to build success and they have created partnerships which lead to donations from the Joyce Foundation, Traubert-Pritzker Foundation, and IMC Charitable Foundation.
I wanted to take a moment and congratulate D’Andre on his amazing accomplishments, but more importantly I want to say thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do in transforming teaching and learning for educators and students. Like a pebble dropped in the water, the circles grow, just like the impact your making for your students (and of course that beautiful little girl Elle)!