Who: Brodrick Spencer, principal of Woodlands Middle School in Greenburgh
Since when: He has been principal for two years, after serving as principal of Longfellow Middle School in Mount Vernon.
What’s new: At a time when schools are focused on the Common Core standards and testing, Spencer wants to make sure that Woodlands Middle School focuses on “the whole child.” He encourages students to participate in clubs, athletics, music and more, and also wants students to take part in community service projects. “Even in this era of the Common Core,” he said, “it’s about giving kids the opportunity to do something other than the Xs and Os of the classroom. We are in the job of preparing children for life. You never know what will motivate a student to do something great.”
Why he does it: “I love children and I’m an advocate. For me, it’s about being the voice for everyone who doesn’t have a voice. You are blessed when you are in a position to help people. Part of my role is to help children be great.”
Hard-earned wisdom: “Success doesn’t run through an individual. Success comes through a concept of unity and building a team. We have a phenomenal staff, great support from parents, and also the support of the superintendent and his cabinet and the board of education. This is not about me.”
A book he recommends to students: “The Autobiography of Malcolm X (As Told to Alex Haley.” “It shows how an individual can go through trials and tribulations and still become a very influential member of society,” Spencer said.
A book he recommends to parents: “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. “It shows how if you settle for being good, you won’t strive to be as great as you can be,” he said.