At Challenge Charter Schools, it is no secret that we are always striving for the best. That aim is not only focused on our scholars’ achievement, but in having staff and teachers that also strive to be the best teachers and administrators for our school. Recently I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Sheila Lyle, Assistant Principal for Grades 6-8. The respect and honor she holds for our school, the leadership, and the scholars came through loud and clear in our conversation.
Messer: What inspired you to pursue a career in education?
Lyle: I was inspired to pursue a career in education some 25 years ago when I graduated with a B.S. in Business Management and had an opportunity to become a substitute teacher. I found that many of the scholars struggled with math because they lacked a true understanding of mathematical concepts. I then realized when I was able to remediate scholars who had academic deficiencies, that education in underserved communities was my divine calling and area of giftedness.
Messer: For someone who doesn’t understand what an Assistant Principal does, what are some of your daily activities?
Lyle: As an assistant principal, there are various activities that I carry out daily. I serve in the capacity of instructional staff, counsel staff and scholars, advise on legal matters, coach staff, and work collaboratively with leadership and the school body to improve the cultural, academic, and system thinking aspects of the school, just to name a few. Furthermore, I take very seriously our mission that scholars excel academically enabling them to successful compete for admission into high performing high schools and colleges in and outside of the New York State area. I believe middle school establishes the groundwork for further success. Most of all, I am privileged and honored to support our Middle School Principal, our CEO, and the Board of Challenge Charter Preparatory School to ensure that every child receives a first class education.
Messer: What is your personal hope for scholars at CCMS this year?
Lyle: My personal hope and commitment to the scholars at CCMS this year and every year is that I will do everything I possibly can to ensure they receive the best high level instruction that can be offered. The school body is constantly thinking, discussing, and implementing methodologies in our pedagogy to improve scholars academically. I know that scholars are being well prepared by conversations I have had with our scholars who are now in high school. I believe when you are under awesome leadership, an institute of learning has no other objective but to strive for excellence.
Messer: What is one thing that people might be surprised to know about you?
Lyle: Probably the one thing people would be surprised to know about me is that I come from very humble beginnings. I will always honor my mother and father for the sacrifices they made so that I could receive a proper education in a Christian setting. I have and continue to instill Christian principals in my three children.
Messer: What is your favorite part about your job?
Lyle: The part of my job that I enjoy the most are the scholars and school body with whom I interact daily. We are a family where we have good days and some not so good. We approach every day as a new day where we can and will do better. Everyone is respected, loved, and nurtured with a high level of fidelity and commitment to learning. Everyone learns in this environment, not just the scholars.