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3 Minute Read
May 8, 2024

Meet a Fellow: Jeffrey Monroe

What is the Fellowship really like? Get an insider’s view from a fellow who is now a principal.

“If your goal is to become an equity-focused instructional leader with the ability to create the conditions within educational settings for all children and adults to learn their power and value, that’s what the Fellowship will do.” 
Principal and Fellowship Alum, Jeffrey Monroe

A former high school chemistry teacher turned principal 

From overcoming absenteeism to fostering instructional excellence, our Fellowship alum and Promise Academy Hollywood Principal Jeffrey Monroe's leadership journey embodies the spirit of resilience. Monroe was in the inaugural cohort and completed the Fellowship in March 2023.

Featured on EdWeek and later interviewed by cityCURRENT, Monroe shares his experiences as a first-year principal and how the Fellowship prepared him for success. Discover how his leadership drives positive change, including cultivating teacher self-efficacy, engaging families and the local community in new ways, and fueling a 97% average in student attendance.

His journey from teacher to principal illuminates why high-quality principal preparation and coaching are critical to transforming school outcomes. Watch as he shares his journey: 

Lasting takeaways from his Fellowship experience 

Success in first year as principal:

"I have been able to overcome tremendous obstacles—no one has quit, everyone comes to work—just because the first two courses in the Fellowship, in particular, helped me to be exceptional at managing people, managing change, and creating conditions for everyone to feel seen, heard, and affirmed."

Prepared to lead adults and drive change:

“All the practitioner classes in the Fellowship are critically important too: data cycles, knowing how to analyze data, knowing how to coach teachers. But managing change, shifting mindsets, and creating conditions for the deepest level of learning, not just for students but teachers as well, I was super prepared to do that work.” 

Building a shared vision and positive school culture:

One of my focuses coming into this year was to rebuild school culture that was decimated by COVID. … Creating conditions where not only students want to come and learn and feel valued, seen, heard, and affirmed, but specifically teachers and staff members, too … I can’t remember the last time we had a substitute teacher in the building. People are coming to work every single day.”

Rooted in his why:

“To be honest, I never sought the principal position. It was kind of a calling. … Some of the changes and shifts that we’re seeing across the country politically, especially around laws, systems, and structures being put in place that are impacting marginalized communities, jolted me forward. It’s the reason I come to work every day.” 

Valuing everyone in the school community:

“It’s important to be seen. Being out front every single day, ensuring parents see that we value the opportunity to educate their children, that they know this is a safe place, that we have an open door policy. The Fellowship helped me to understand the value of those small details, too. The ripple effect is that we have a lot more engagement with parents, community partners, and we averaged 97% student attendance.”

Supported through the challenges:

We had a personal coach in the Fellowship that we could call 24/7. … that was very helpful in overcoming challenges. The camaraderie between cohort members was extremely important too. My cohort and I still text every single day. Having peers across the nation and getting that wealth of experience and depth of knowledge prepared us for almost any situation.”

Fellow, Michelle Means, cut out in orange square frame | Fellowship Images
Michelle Means
Fellowship Alum, '23
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