When the city of Houston, the Houston Independent School District (HISD) and Capital One Bank issued an invitation to community and business leaders to act as principals for a day, Veronica Guillory and Jack Hodson, both CenterPoint Energy (CNP) Community Relations program managers, accepted the challenge. Each year, the program invites committed civic leaders to “shadow” principals for the day to gain a better understanding of the rewards and demands of educational leadership as well as the importance of partnerships between the schools and business community.
Hodson served as principal at Sam Houston High School. Guillory, who served as guest principal of HISD’s Ninth-Grade College-Preparatory Academy, noticed the district’s efforts to make both graduation and higher education an expectation among its students. “I met several students who were dropouts before Principal Rudy Treviño convinced them to come back to school,” explained Guillory, “and one was an 18-year-old who was living in a garage.” Guillory was impressed with all of the resources available to students at the campus. “Every classroom had SmartBoards and desktop computers,” she noted.