Black Water Middle School principal Candace Lane feels fabulous about her first year as a principal and she credits the national Center for Courage & Renewal for preparing her to “to meet the challenges of being a principal.’’
Lane says the concept “focuses on who we are as the teacher or administration in the school. It’s very personal … [it’s about] our birthright gift. What makes our classroom come alive because of who we are – our character, our integrity, our purpose.’’
The national center is headquartered in Seattle. “Our mission is to create a more just, compassionate and healthy world by nurturing personal and professional integrity and the courage to act on it.’’ According to the center’s Website, the center has a network of 200 facilitators across the United States, Canada and Australia.
In January, Lane received the national center’s new award, the Medallion of Integrity. Sally Z. Hare, president of still learning, inc., describes the award in an email: “I love that this Medallion of Integrity is not given for anything in particular Candace has done – but for who she is, how she literally lets her values and beliefs guide her as she lives and leads.’’
The medallion recognizes Lane’s “overall way of being in the world – with courage and integrity, for the congruence in what she says and does, for the consistency in her words and her actions.’’
Lane says she “has been challenged with many, many things’’ in leading the Black Water professional staff of 58. The school has 755 students and has had as many as 764.
“The way the staff sees me at school is the way I am,’’ Lane says. She was introduced to a year-long exploration of “teachers voices’’ during her 11 years at North Myrtle Beach Middle School where she was most recently assistant principal. She also was an instructional coach and taught for one year.
Prior to moving to Horry County Schools, Lane taught for 13 years in Virginia, her home state. She is a graduate of Virginia Tech and has a master’s from George Washington University.
Lane is looking to do a retreat with about 16 of the Black Water professional staff. Sandie Merriam, one of five area representatives of the national Center for Courage & Renewal, will introduce how using personal courage to nurture and act on professional integrity. Lane describes it as different but important staff development.
The national center was founded in 1997 by author and educator Parker J. Palmer, to serve educators. Participants now include leaders in health care, the ministry, business and community, Hare says.
South Carolina has played an important role in the development of “courage to teach’’ and “Courage to Lead.’’ The state had one of four pilot programs 20 years ago. Hare plans to present the second medallion this weekend to a school principal in eastern Pennsylvania.