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M-DCPS + Center for Leadership at FIU = SUCCESS: Featuring Randy A. Milliken

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This year the Center for Leadership and Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) are celebrating their 10-year partnership in offering the award-winning Principals Leadership Development Program. This program is designed to empower M-DCPS principals to become more effective leaders and change agents in their respective schools and in the South Florida community. The partnership is made possible through a generous endowment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

As part of this 10-year celebration, the Center for Leadership will be featuring one principal from each of the ten cohorts over the coming academic year. Randy A. Milliken, principal at North Miami Beach Senior High and Cohort VI alumnus of the Principal Leadership Development Program (2015-2016), was our sixth interviewee to share his thoughts on leadership, the program, and his experience as a principal.

Q: What is leadership?

RAM: Leadership is the ability to not only influence your team's thoughts and ideas but to influence them into action.

Q: Reflecting on your experience as part of the Principals Leadership Development Program at the Center for Leadership, what one lesson from that program would you share with other leaders?

RAM: Share your personal story and your vision with your staff. It gives people an understanding of not only where you are coming from, but why and where you are trying to lead them.

Q: How has this been beneficial to you in your own leadership?

RAM: It has drawn me closer to my staff, because they understand my background, and are better able to understand and buy into our vision for our school.

Q: Briefly describe a memory/moment that had a significant effect on you during your tenure as principal and any lessons you learned that would be helpful to share with others.

RAM:  The memory I have that stands out, is the buy-in from teachers as my leadership team and I continuously push teachers to build capacity in their craft (teaching). It is not an overnight process, but a gradual build that begins with small steps and grows as staff and teachers begin to see the positive effects that building their capacity has on students. The lesson for me was that consistent pressure overtime will make long term gains in teacher capacity, as opposed to reverting to quick fixes for short term gains. Improving the teacher in the classroom is the most important goal for me.  At the end of the day, programs, computers, and books will not be the difference in student achievement. It’s the person standing in front of the students using these tools and resources that will be the difference-maker.

Want to learn more?

Read the other principal interviews at: