Giving Students a Fighting Chance Too

Type: Article
Topics: Communications & Public Relations, District & School Operations, Health & Wellness, Leadership Development, School Administrator Magazine

October 01, 2021

My View

Five years ago, I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer with a plan for palliative care. The prognosis was dim. I was in crisis.

Through multiple rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, I continued my work as a leadership coach for the state education agency in North Carolina’s lowest-performing schools and districts. While fighting for my personal health, I simultaneously faced an unfathomable educational crisis every day I set foot in schools. Students with the largest opportunity gaps were consistently assigned to beginning teachers and those with the least experience, and their schools had limited resources, aging and decrepit facilities, and low expectations.

While in daily conversation with physicians about my own care and treatment plan, I began considering the treatment plan necessary for students as I started healing thanks to extraordinary medical practices. I bore witness to educational malpractice. Survival was only step one. We all deserved to thrive.

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Laurie Carr
About the Author

Laurie Carr is senior director of principal leadership, recruitment and development in Guilford County Public Schools in Greensboro, N.C.