HCDE News Blog

Aldine ISD Rookie Principal of the Year proves Leadership Matters

Leadership Matters cohort member Principal Charles Land has been named Aldine Independent School District’s Rookie Principal of the Year. Land was selected based on how he has made an impact on his campus, overcome challenges, and showed significant growth.

“I am beyond honored to receive this award,” said Land.

Nimitz Ninth Grade School Principal Charles Land

District leaders teamed up with the Holdsworth Center in Austin, where Land was attending leadership training, to surprise him during a hybrid Holdsworth-Aldine ISD Zoom meeting. Superintendent LaTonya Goffney appeared on the screen along with Nimitz Ninth Grade School’s cheerleaders and drumline to congratulate him on this recognition.

“Mr. Land is very deserving of this award because he prioritizes impact, and that’s aligned to the mission of the Leadership Matters program,” said Tammy Rodney, HCDE’s director of coaching and professional development. “I was not surprised that he was named Rookie of the Year.”

Leadership Matters is a yearlong cohort program that provides first-year principals with the external support, coaching, and training necessary to make identifiable gains, sustained impact, and low turnover in their first year as a campus leader.

Principal Charles Land with students

“One of the issues that education is facing right now in our country is our teachers and leaders don’t feel they are supported,” said Rodney. “We have principals who’ve been in [their role] for more than one year who say, ‘I was just never taught how to be a principal.’ Leadership Matters is that additional support layer, in addition to what’s already [being offered] by their current school districts.”

As a 16-year veteran educator in his first year leading Aldine ISD’s Nimitz Ninth Grade School, Land recognizes and sees the gains on his campus.

“I definitely feel more prepared in leading the campus,” said Land. “[Leadership Matters provides] the opportunity to grow and learn in a safe space, get quality feedback that can help shape your campus vision, and surround you with a circle of other leaders that you’ll be able to collaborate with and extend your growth as a principal.”

Land reports decreased classroom referrals and an overall holistic improvement in STAAR assessments as a result of key takeaways and strategies learned in Leadership Matters.

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