DR. CONNIE E. COLLINS
PRINCIPAL OF SEMINOLE HIGH SCHOOL
PERLA B. CROSBY
CAN YOU SHARE AN OPINION REGARDING FAMILY IN TODAY’S SOCIETY?
Family is the most important institution in our society today. It is the avenue where values, traditions, and beliefs are shared with our young people. I cherish the times I can spend with my family. We are scattered all over the United States, but still manage to maintain strong communication, and it is always a fun time when we get together.
WHAT INFLUENCED YOU TO PURSUE YOUR CAREER IN EDUCATION?
I am a fourth generation educator. My parents were teachers, my twin sister is a teacher, my grandfather was a teacher, and his mother, my great grandmother Nellie Marshall was also a teacher. Nellie was actually a slave freed during the Civil War. She was intelligent enough to recognize the value of education and worked diligently to send her four children to college. My grandfather was one of those children. I have always believed in the power of education, and especially because of Nellie.
HAVE ANY TEACHERS IMPACTED YOU WHILE GROWING UP? AND HOW DO YOU COMPARE TEACHERS FROM YOUR TIME IN SCHOOL TO THE MODERN DAY INSTRUCTOR?
I do have fond memories of my teachers! Mrs. Johnson, my third grade teacher, loved me and nurtured me. She helped me understand that being smart was a wonderful attribute. Father Mullins and Sister Anna James taught me patience and humility, and I am still in touch with them today. Mr. Davis was my 7th grade geometry teacher, and he made me work harder than I ever thought I could. As far as modern day instructors go, I believe that they are charged with so much more than their predecessors due to systematic accountability, global issues, and the transformation of our society. Accountability has ensured that all children perform to the level that schools and districts develop, which is a wonderful thing. However, the work is more intense and teachers have to keep up with updates in technology, incorporating new information into their curriculums, and communicating with parents. Many aspects of teaching that formerly fell under parent responsibility are now being included as part of the school’s program.
“I want to ensure that all children reach their potential, and that they are prepared to contribute
to a globally competitive society.”
DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THE PLAYING FIELD IS LEVEL AND ALL WHO WANT AN EDUCATION HAVE THE SAME OPPORTUNITY?
I believe that we are all working toward that end, but no, the field is not level. Poverty is still a significant hurdle for so many Americans. Students come with disabilities and non-proficiency in English language. We’re farther along than we have been, and we’re moving in a positive direction, but there is still a long way to go.
DO YOU THINK THE SCHOOL SYSTEM IS CONSIDERED TO BE AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE COMMUNITY? IF NOT, WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO REINFORCE THIS CONCEPT?
I believe that it is, more so in this community than in others. School leaders myself included must take every chance to welcome parents and community members, seek their participation, and ensure that there are authentic opportunities for genuine involvement.
ARE THERE ANY INITIATIVES BEING TAKEN UNDER YOUR ADMINISTRATION TO ENCOURAGE FAMILIES TO SUPPORT AND PARTICIPATE IN THE LEARNING PROCESS?
We are asking that every parent find a place that they can participate and contribute to their child’s school: be it as a volunteer, spectator, or assistant. Research has consistently shown that children perform better academically when their parents are involved at school. those children. I have always believed in the power of education, and especially because of Nellie.
HAVE ANY TEACHERS IMPACTED YOU WHILE GROWING UP? AND HOW DO YOU COMPARE TEACHERS FROM YOUR TIME
“Poverty is still a significant hurdle for so many Americans. Students come with disabilities and non-proficiency in English language. We’re farther along than we have been, and we’re moving in a positive direction, but there is still a long way to go.”