This morning I was invited on a tour of our high school with the principal. I’ve had a daughter at the school for over two years now, (my husband and all of his siblings also graduated from the same school) so you may wonder why in the world I would have any interest in touring the school.

But let me tell you, it was the best two hours I could have invested today.

Last year we got a new principal and I was impressed with him from the first town hall session I attended. He wanted to innovate high school level learning and he was saying all the right things, but in the back of my mind I was slightly skeptical as I know change can be hard and lengthy.

He now has a year under his belt and with some construction being completed on campus, he’s invited parents to come see what has changed both with the remodel of the buildings as well as the remodel of classrooms.

I was impressed. Education is one of those things that is in desperate need of a revolution – and he’s taking that on. Of course he’s going to get pushback especially from teachers who don’t want to change their way of teaching. And yet he’s willing to make all of them a little uncomfortable as he reimagines what learning looks like within his leadership. (And those who do not want to change will find new employment!)

I had a front row seat to a college (BYU-Idaho) that went through a similar revolution as they worked to elevate education to more people without increasing the cost. When I attended, the student population was around 5,000, now twenty years later they have 25,000 attending each of the three semesters. They were early to the on-line learning model, recognizing the cost savings in education. (Steve was actually an online adjunct faculty for international business years ago)

ASU has a similar story as Dr. Crowe has turned education upside down and as of 2022 was ranked the #1 most innovative campus.

I’m once again a front row spectator as I watch our high school rethink education. Just because it’s always been done a certain way, doesn’t make it the best way and our principal is willing to push some boundaries and pave a new way. He wants students to have more agency in their education. And he’s building a powerful community. I love it. I’m here for it.

Hallie will be gone in two years but I’ll have kids in this high school for the next 12 years. I’m getting a glimpse of what has changed in one year under this principal, and I can only imagine what that looks like in a decade. I’m grateful there are individuals like him who have made it their life mission to better educate our children and are willing to ask the questions and challenge old ways of thinking.

I walked out of the high school today with more hope in my kid’s high school education than I ever thought possible.