For the last 12 years, students at Lyndale Community School have passed through under the watchful eyes of Principal Ossie Brooks-James. Now, according to the Southwest Journal, the 35-year veteran of the Minneapolis Public Schools is hanging up her hat.
Under Brooks-James' leadership, Lyndale became known as one of the hidden jewels of the district's schools, helping even students who came in behind grade level to make significant academic growth, and in so doing helping close the achievement gap. That strength—along with hard work by some of the school's families—has helped win over many of the school's better-off neighbors.
The school serves families from Kingfield, East Harriet, Lyndale, and part of CARAG.
Brooks-James told the Journal that she learned quite a bit about what makes for an excellent school that serves all its students:
I learned — and this is not necessarily in a hierarchy of importance — but I learned the value of good teaching, good instruction. There’s no substitute for a competent teacher. I don’t care what you do. A competent teacher will make up for so many things that are not working for you. There’s no substitute for that.