Showing posts with label Whittier Primary School. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Whittier Primary School. Show all posts

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Meaningful school leadership: Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat a role model for our children


Imagine how you would feel if you were a Manual High School student, parent and/or alumni and you stumbled across a local blog filled with days on end of negative comments about your high school; the intelligence (or lack thereof) of the students; and the capabilities of the administrators.

Frankly, after all that I have read, I don't know what to think about Manual High School and the program they are running under the microscope of the District 150 Watch Group. However, I am willing to trust in the capabilities of the Principal, Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat. I consider Dr. Kherat an excellent role model for all of our children and most certainly for the young black women in this community who desperately need role models.

In July of 2009, Dr. Sharon Kherat was in the Bradley University Alumni Association Magazine's Spotlight (read excerpt below). Although Dr. Kherat is much more than just her curriculum vitae, her accomplishments are impressive...

Desmoulin-Kherat received her BA degree from Bradley in 1986 with majors in history and secondary education. In 1989, she graduated with a master’s degree in education administration. She went on to earn a doctorate degree in education administration in 2006 from Illinois State University. She was one of a group of local educators who worked on their doctorate degrees together and Illinois State accommodated them by teaching many of their classes at Richwoods High School in Peoria. She completed her dissertation on “Meaningful School Leadership from the Perspective of African-American Parents.”

Upon graduating from Bradley, Dr. Kherat began her career as a middle school teacher and has since held a variety of positions in the Peoria area including Assistant Principal at Roosevelt Magnet school, Principal of Whittier Primary School and Adjunct Instructor at Bradley University. In 2008 she was appointed Principal of Manual Middle and High School. She was hired to facilitate a unique restructuring to “improve student academic achievement and enable the school to make adequate yearly progress as defined by the State’s accountability system.”

Although her professional life is marked with many accomplishments, she considers her first year at Manual as her biggest success. “Thus far, we have experienced improvement in the following areas: students’ enrollment, increased attendance, an increased course passing rate, lower suspension and expulsion rates, and an increased number of student graduates.”

As it celebrates its 100th anniversary, the new Manual has created four academies to drive student success, increase academic performance, and foster a sense of belonging among its students. Manual Middle and High School believes in high expectations for each student and offers a curriculum grounded in that principle. “We have adopted the three new “Rs” of education: Rigor, Relevance and Relationships.”


Dr. Kherat has found it very exciting and challenging to take a theoretical model and put it into practice. “We are flying the plane while building it. Everything is new - from the staff, new practices, to the curriculum to the academies. Yet the process has been embraced by the students and staff and progress is being made. As we raise the bar for Manual, we must continue to raise the level of support for our students and their families.”

Desmoulin-Kherat has won numerous awards and honors including Principal of the Year (2008); Blue Ribbon Award (Whittier Primary 2005); National Center for Urban School Transformation Award (2006); Professional Advocacy Award (Children’s Hospital of Illinois 2005); and Peoria’s 40 Leaders Under 40 (2001). She is still involved with Bradley, currently serving as a member of the College of Education and Health Sciences Educational Advisory Committee.
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