Wearing the crown
January 27, 2016
Teaching. Mentoring. Managing. All of the responsibilities of an assistant principal. With all of these skills, and the love of the job, achievements come naturally.
Assistant principal Melissa King-Knowles is the new assistant principals that came for the 2015-2016 year. King-Knowles has been an assistant principal for six years. Before she became an assistant principal, she was a campus leader and a teacher. She taught theatre, communications applications and leadership classes. Her first job as an assistant principal was at Travis High School in AISD, and she began her career at Pflugerville High School.
“I miss the classroom a bunch,” King-Knowles said. “I loved being a teacher. I think the reason I wanted to be an assistant principal was the administrators. They saw something in me, and saw a lot of potential in me, and they kept asking me if I’ve ever thought about it before, and I was not only a teacher, but a teacher mentor for new teachers, but I realized that teachers were coming to me, because I had a knack for dealing with struggling students.”
King-Knowles knew that through her job she would be able to help people, and students.
“The next thing I knew is that even though I loved teaching was that I might be able to help a school, help more people, help more students by expanding or transcending the walls of my own classroom, and going above and beyond,” she said.
King-Knowles won the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals State Principal of the Year this year, her first year as a Lion.
“I think it’s my ability to connect with others [that helped me earn the award,” she said. “Whether it’s students or it’s adults. So, it’s not just the teachers, or not just my colleagues that help run the school, because that’s everybody that’s teachers, custodians, office staff, and other administrators, but it’s also parents, and making everybody know that I feel that they’re a valuable part of our system. So, I think that’s a huge piece.”
King-Knowles believes that always learning was a huge part in winning the award.
“The other part of it is that I never stop learning, and so I think that by modeling that for the students, and for my colleagues, I’m showing that it is important that you always try to grow and learn, and I think the fact that I have exhibited that over and over again is part of why I’m being chose to represent the organization and the state in this capacity,” she said.
As an assistant principal, her students always come first.
“Students will always be the first thing for me,” she said. “Always. If I had to say something other than students, it’s helping solve problems.”
When dealing with the diverse community in Leander, King-Knowles has no problem in having an open mind.
“The only thing you can do is embrace it,” she said. “I think embracing it, and being aware that there is always more to learn is important. I think you have to be a listener, and you have to be observant, and you have to come to situations with an open heart, and an open mind.”
Her favorite experience being an assistant principal is being a Lion.
“I think we have the best kids,” she said. “Everybody here has made me feel very welcome, and I feel like I’m purposeful, I feel like I’m here for a good reason. Even though Leander has grown so much, it still feels like a small town community, but it’s fun. I’ve just really been enjoying my experience here.”
After working in middle school for a bit, Mrs. King-Knowles was ready to go back to high school.
“The last school I had done before this was at a middle school, and I was excited to have the opportunity to come back to high school, and where I was at was nearby, and there’s always word on the street of how awesome Leander is, and to be able to come on board here at the original school, and be apart of Leander ISD where it’s the heart of the district is pretty exciting,” she said.