Tales of a Minority Administrator

By Pao Lor

When I became an administrator, I was concerned with how I would be received as a Hmong school leader. I worried about how my ethnicity would impact school dynamics, especially in majority-white districts and communities.

After much introspection and retrospection, I learned that essential leadership qualities superseded my ethnicity. I gleaned this information during my three years of administrative experience with the Green Bay Public Schools and the Neenah Joint School District in northeastern Wisconsin.

The lessons I learned during those years can be useful to predominantly Caucasian districts considering hiring minority administrators. They also can help minority candidates by providing a foundation for further professional self-evaluation of whether they possess key leadership elements and the experience to be successful in majority-white schools.

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