from a conversation with Dr. Le Andrea Ware

Traditions are beliefs and customs handed down.

At Trevecca, our traditions include hard work, a deep devotion to our roots and the desire to lead, serve and love others well. Dr. Le Andrea Ware (’18), the 2019-2020 Tennessee Principal of the Year, shares a few thoughts on what leading and loving her Hamilton County students well looks like.

At The Howard School, we believe there are multiple pathways to success. Instead of really rolling out the red carpet for that college pathway, we’ve really started to be intentional in our focus around college or career. Here at The Howard School, we have four different future-ready institutes: health care and innovation, hospitality and tourism, architecture and construction, and robotics and mechanics.

In our classrooms, we’re really trying to focus on project-based learning experiences. The classroom experience isn’t just “sit-and-get,” but we strive to take the learning standards and really help our kids see what using that knowledge looks like in the real world. For example, with our health care and innovation institute, we are branded partners with Erlanger Hospital, one of the larger hospitals in the region. We’re hoping to create a pipeline so that when our kids graduate from The Howard School, they have the credentials to be a certified medical technician or EKG technician, positions they really haven’t had access to in the past. It’s also important to get our students on the campus of the hospital, allowing them to shadow doctors, nurses, technicians and more. Being able to provide opportunities for our students to engage with so many different kinds of community health care providers and professions gives our students the inside perspective and actually helps them to visualize themselves in those positions.

Students have to have models—and for a lot of our students, we have to believe in them before they will believe in themselves. When we can put opportunities in front of our students—such as the ones we now have available—we can see them begin to actually take on the persona and grow in confidence. We watch them begin to pursue opportunities they wouldn’t have thought possible otherwise.

We had one young man who talked about his desire to be a neurologist. His baby brother had dealt with some neurological issues, and he had watched his brother go through so many doctors and appointments. By participating in our health care institute, our student had the opportunity to explore and pursue that passion—and he actually has a realistic view of what it will take for him to become a neurologist after he leaves Howard and goes on to post-secondary opportunities.

On the other side of that, we connect with colleges and seek to find ways to get our students on college campuses. We help them learn to network, build social capital and navigate situations so that when they do leave us here at The Howard School, they can navigate different circumstances that come along and successfully matriculate throughout their college career and post-collegiate path.

At The Howard School, our goal for our students is that they’re well prepared for success no matter where they go after they leave us.


from a conversation with Dr. Le Andrea Ware (’18),
Principal at The Howard School, Chattanooga,
2019-2020 Tennessee Principal of the Year