As a student, Christy McGowan, Ph.D. (she/her/hers) spent far too much time in the principal’s office and struggled to find her own voice. She credits her tenth-grade teacher for looking past the surface and recognizing her potential, giving her many opportunities to shine. “I’ve seen my life’s story written on the faces of my students and understand where discouragement and a lack of belief in oneself can lead. It’s my dream to build a school where students are inspired and motivated to find the hero within themselves.”
Christy is looking to close the expanding opportunity gap in Houston for students of color and students from low-income families. “Despite the ongoing economic boom in the city, data continues to show that not all Houston students are receiving an education that prepares them for future success.” Her proposed school will reflect the social-emotional learning and whole-child development strategies that she knows firsthand are fundamental to student achievement. Staff will use trauma-informed restorative practices and the school will offer family-oriented outreach such as access to a social worker, school counselor, and health services. “Creating a school culture centered on high expectations begins with trusting relationships. We will ensure our staff has the training necessary to build those relationships and reach the unique needs of each individual.” The proposed school will be academically rigorous, college-preparatory, and will focus on helping students build the independent thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to succeed in the future. As an experienced instructional leader, Christy plans to ensure each teacher receives regular coaching and ongoing professional development, as well as dedicated planning time.
Christy most recently served as an instructional coordinator for Frayser Community Schools in Memphis, TN. She began her educational career at Promise Academy in Memphis as a lead teacher and literacy specialist. She has also served as a fourth-grade ELA team lead at LEARN Charter School in Chicago, assistant principal at STRIVE Prep in Denver, and a district literacy coach for the state of Tennessee. Additionally, Christy started her own business consulting with schools to build effective literacy programs. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Tuskegee University, a master’s in elementary education from the University of Memphis, and a doctoral degree in curriculum and instructional leadership from Capella University.