It was mid-February in our high school in Chicago. Acceptance letters were rolling in from colleges across the country.

I saw Alex, one of our seniors, walking and laughing with friends in the hallway and stopped him with a big smile, “Alex, how exciting! I heard you’ve been accepted to seven colleges!”

“Yeah,” Alex suddenly lost his enthusiasm. “I haven’t heard from University X, so I am not sure I am going.”

“Is that your first choice?” I asked, wondering if he lost sight of his accomplishment.

“No. But I was kind of waiting to get denied,” Alex muttered, as…


I am a former school leader/principal that had the privilege of starting a brand new high school on the south side of Chicago.

And I failed first. I failed the district. Our staff. Our community. Our families. And most importantly, our students. Ultimately, this failure led me to change the way I operated as a leader, and in turn, the way our team led our school. That turnaround was successful, and now the school sends 85% of its graduates to college. Further, our students rank among the top achievement growth gainers in the city year-in and year-out.

However, while failure…

Matthew King

Finding equity in our society through our schools from a School Leadership Coach + College to Career Pipeline Savant + Change Guide. CollegePrinciple.com

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