By George Kevin Jordan, Special to the AFRO
It’s been a busy year for William Haith, principal of Anacostia High School. As the year comes to a close he found himself appointed permanently to the position, and looking ahead to engaging with students, teachers, administrators and community alike to build a stronger better school.
“My three priorities this year were assuring that students have access to grade level content, improving the culture and climate and bridging the gap between the community and the school, with me just being as visible as possible in and out of the school as well,” Haith said.
William Haith was recently named permanent principal of Anacostia High School in Southeast, D.C. (Courtesy Photo)
Haith worked year round to improve test scores, prepare kids for college and work with teachers and administrators to improve the curriculum that students work with every day.
“It’s really exciting now that I’ve been appointed to be the permanent principal,” Haith said.
Life lessons are sure to come up as you work with so many people on a multitude of tasks.
“One of the things if I could go back and change would be the amount of meetings I scheduled during the school year, because I missed out on supporting teachers but its a lesson that I really learned,” Haith told the AFRO.
But that didn’t stop Haith from going to as many middle school career days, or parent teacher conferences that he could. “I have done several things to bridge the gap between our high school sand feeder schools,” Haith said.
Haith began his career teaching at Wilson High School 13 years ago, where he designed curricula for the Alternative Social Studies Program for grades 9-12. He was Dean of Students for three years, overseeing curricular programs for 1,600 students. In 2013, he transitioned into the Assistant Principal position at Wilson and stayed there for two year before becoming the Resident Principal of Kelly Miller Middle School in 2017. Haith holds a bachelor’s degree and masters degree from Liberty University, and a master’s degree from Virginia College.
Now Anacostia, located at 1601 16th Street S.E., is on the cusp of another change, as it was designated by Chancellor Dr. Lewis Ferebee to be a redesign school.
Anacostia is in the middle of hiring a redesign team, four people who will assist Haith and administrators investigate other effective learning models throughout the US and bring them back to Anacostia. Haith said he just visited a school in New York to see what methods they use to teach kids, beyond the traditional model of a teacher lecturing in front of a class.
Everything from career pathways, to wall to wall academies and project based learning is on the table. Haith knows his students are ready for the challenge and eager to be the best.
“My students are strong mentally and they want to accomplish the same things that other students want to accomplish throughout DCPS. My students want to be engineers, they want to be business owners. They want to be astronauts,” he told the AFRO
“Prior to me coming here, there has been this negative connotation about Anacostia and every time someone has set foot in the school they see how clean it is, how smart the students are and that is why we want to invite more people to see.”