What does it take to master your mind so that you can master your life? How do you cultivate a winning mentality that will help you overcome obstacles and create possibility? In this episode, we chat with with educator, coach, mentor, Paterson, NJ native Gemar Mills (a.k.a “The Turnaround Principal”) about his road to self-discovery through education and how he helped to turn around schools and the lives of thousands of children in the state of NJ. As Gemar mentions, “Your mindset will either be to your demise or your success. You have to figure out the context in which you thrive the most.”
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In 2005, after graduating from Montclair State University with a Bachelors of Science in Math Education, Gemar started his teaching career. By 2009, at the age of 28, Mills was promoted to Principal of Malcom X Shabazz – one of the most troubled schools in the Newark Public Schools District, with a history of low-test scores, MXS was threatened with possibility of closure. Mills took on the challenge and fully implemented his strategy of education reform by becoming an accessible and relatable leader for the school community. He accomplished the unthinkable, by drastically improving student test scores, created a safe school atmosphere and made the students believe in their selves, the school and in education again.
Gemar’s story to becoming the Turnaround Principal is one that we all can learn from. Despite the odds against you, there always is a way. You just have to willing to do the work to find it.
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ON THIS EPISODE WE DISCUSS:
– Growing up in the inner-city of Paterson, NJ
– How getting 400 stitches as an adolescent changed Gemar’s life
– How Gemar knew that he had a gift for motivating students
– How Gemar became a principal by the age of 28
– The best “accident” of Gemar’s career
– 2 Keys to making change
– Working around in a turnaround school
– How to gain respect as a leader
– The importance of timely, accurate responses
– Building the Gemar Mills brand
– Building confidence and believing in oneself
– The mentor that had a HUGE impact on Gemar’s life
– Thinking big
– Gemar’s morning ritual
GEMAR BUTLER’S KEYS TO SUCCESS:
1. Growth mindset
3. Identify a team of people that are just as excited about this vision as you are.
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