Season 5, Episode 11: Interview with Sandra Donaghue

Charles WilliamsThe Counter Narrative Podcast

Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations.

I’m your host, Charles Williams. An urban educator for more than 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, an educational consultant, an equity advocate, and the co-host of Inside The Principal’s Office.

Let’s get started.

In this episode, I chat with Sandra Donaghue, who has served in education for over 30 years. She has been a teacher for 16 years, a principal for 15 years, and has served as an Instructor for the Principal Qualifications Course for 10 years. In addition to education, Sandra loves music and musical theatre. She has taught dance for years and even performed in musicals while in high school. Sandra is a Code Breaker Ambassador and works closely with Matthew Joseph on a number of projects and is currently co-authoring a book on leadership.

During our conversation Sandra brought up a powerful sentiment – everyone with whom we interact should walk away better because of the experience. While this may sound a bit conceited, the truth is that we should strive to improve those around us at every opportunity. We discussed how this could look with the students in our building by adopting a lens of possibility and allowing them the opportunities to become empowered participants within their schools. Sandra encourages educators to step out of their comfort zones, the real reason why we continue to practice antiquated approaches, and to engage in some reflection activities to identify areas of improvement. Yes, it requires relationships. Yes, it requires vulnerability. Yes, it may be challenging. But it is so well worth it.

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