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Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute Award Recipient: Ameer El-Mallawany, SLP'10

Ameer El MallawanyCleveland native Ameer El-Mallawany came to the Ed School hoping to explore the relationships between schools, families, and communities. His primary interest when he enrolled in the School Leadership Program (SLP) was -- and still is -- urban public high schools, but, he says, "I have also widened my scope to begin to think about education in a more economic sense." This dedication will serve him well in his position as principal of Columbus International High School in Ohio, a new language immersion public school with a global focus.

"Ameer personifies the vision, skills, and courage that our schools need in their leaders, and we have high hopes for him as he begins his work next year as the founding principal of the Columbus City International High School," says Lecturer Lee Teitel, SLP director. "In his year at Harvard, he contributed enormously to his classes and, overall, to the School Leadership Program cohort."

Students who nominated El-Mallawany praised him as diligent, passionate, respectful, driven, and committed. One classmate said, "Ameer's contributions to class discussions always pushed my thinking to the next level."

Upon learning that he had been honored with the Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute Award for SLP, El-Mallawany answered some questions about his time at the Ed School and beyond.

What was your favorite class this year?
The Seminar and Practicum in School Principalship, Instructional Leadership, and Supervision (affectionately known as T330), was a challenging and thought-provoking weekly experience. It was a privilege to see and hear my 20 principal licensure colleagues at their best, discussing the perils and complexities of leadership as we were living through them at our various practicum sites here in Boston. [Adjunct Lecturer] Elliot Stern and Teaching Fellow Rebecca Holcombe truly pushed us to learn how to learn by examining ourselves in the context of this work.

What is something that you learned at HGSE that you will take with you throughout your career in education?
In leadership, it is never enough to have a great idea or even to convince other people that you have a great idea. In fact it is often a better idea to push and support others in coming up with the ideas.

How did you stay inspired throughout the year?
It is easy when you are in a school 3-4 times a week. I thank the staff and students of Boston Community Leadership Academy, particularly Ms. Nicole Bahnam (headmaster), for reminding me who this work is really about. Boston itself, which is much smaller than I imagined as a child in the Midwest, has also reminded me of home and inspired me to return to my roots in Ohio after a decade away.

What advice do you have for next year's students going through your program?
Stay humble and open to new (and old) ideas, but also stay true to who you are and the various people and experiences that brought you here.

What will you change in education?
I hope we as educators can, with our students, engage more meaningfully in our communities both locally and globally.

If you could transport one person/place/thing in Harvard Square to your next
destination, what would it be?

Only one? I am hoping that the School Leadership Program counts as one cohort, because that's who I would take!