Thursday, November 27, 2014
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Then A Hero Comes Along: GCEP Welcomes Allen & Chew

Community leaders, students at Crenshaw open arms for educational superstars

By Kenneth Miller
Sentinel Managing Editor

The Greater Crenshaw Educational Partnership (GCEP) continued its school wide reform and transformation at Crenshaw High School this week when it introduced interim executive director Dr. Rudy Chew and new Crenshaw principal Carrie Harris Allen at a ceremony on Aug. 18.

The event held on the quad and attended by community leaders from the Los Angeles Urban league, California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Unified School District, Crenshaw students and faculty members donned a new day for the troubled school.

Plagued with one of regions highest drop out rates and challenged with accreditation issues, the non-profit group GCEP began an innovative strategy to transform Crenshaw and this was another giant step in that direction.

Allen who will began this fall as the school's new principal has a long and successful history of transforming situations as dire as Crenshaw's and has already brought about three successful accreditations comes about with glowing credentials.

"I'm pleased to be here and it promises to be a rollercoaster ride," Allen told the crowd.

She had other choices to choose from, but selected Crenshaw because "Crenshaw stood out."

"I believe great things will happen," Allen added.

The new principal hit the ground running and has already implementing mandatory ID and schoolbook orientation programs that will be required by all students.

Saying that she had already met many of the students and faculty and members of the partnership, Allen credited those before her for getting the groundwork done.

The GCEP founders consist members of the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education, the L.A. Urban league, and Tom and Ethel Bradley Foundation.

LAUSD School Board president Monica Garcia and member Marguerite LaMotte joined Urban League president Blair Taylor in attendance.

"This is an exciting afternoon. Rollercoaster rides can be the most fun, especially when the students are from Crenshaw," said LaMotte to a rousing ovation.

LaMotte also made a point to allow for the blame to be shifted only in the direction of organizations and individuals who are working to aid the students, but told them: "You have to bring something to the table. You have to be the strength. Failure for Crenshaw is not an option."

The transformation of Crenshaw first began under the leadership of Dr. Sylvia Rousseau, renowned educational pioneer and USC professor of education, guided Crenshaw through some of their most troubling moments and achieved the provisional WASC re-accreditation through June 2010.

Dr. Rudy Chew, an educational visionary and USC professor of education will become the new executive director of the GCEP.

"Where will you go next?' Chew asked. "A journey marked by doubt as to whether anyone can make it. Everyone wants Crenshaw to be a better school, but the weight will be enormous," stated Chew.

Chew elaborated that he does not want students from Crenshaw to just graduate, but break out and into the global community."

The work has commenced to begin, and as the modern dance team welcomed its new principal who will replace Rousseau to the song by Mariah Carey named 'Hero' it was most appropriate.

"Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day," Allen repeated. Now collectively that all hope to discover the hero in each of them.

Category: Local


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