It has come to my attention that Courtney Porter will be reassigned to a classroom. Why is such a great leader and mentor being moved to a position in which she can only influence and bless one class? What a loss to the other children in the district.
I want you to know about some of the interactions my family has had with Ms. Porter. The first one I remember was a disciplinary situation. My son had done something impulsive that he thought was funny. It was not funny. He had not been ‘caught’. We suggested that he go in and talk to Ms. Porter and confess. She was amazing! She let him know that his actions were not appropriate, but was never condescending. She taught him so much that day regarding responsibility, accountability, and most importantly, that he could trust an adult that had power and authority over him. Not all administrators are so open to listen and understand. Not all administrators are able to turn disciplinary situations into learning situations. Ms. Porter did that for my son because she is very good at her job.
The second experience was with my younger son. He still tells a story about when Ms. Porter was in a wheelchair and he gave her a speeding ticket. I hadn’t known she had an autoimmune disease until I read an article published by the News-Gazette in 2015, in which she shared her experience. That same son is now suffering from an extreme flair in his Juvenile Arthritis. The first words out of his mouth every day when he wakes up are, “I hurt.” What an example for him to see someone like Ms. Porter, who goes to work when she hurts and is positive and fun and dedicated. Don’t we want that for our kids in this district?
When she was awarded Ms. Basketball 1990, Ms. Porter was quoted in the Chicago Tribune as saying, “I guess I just like to let my game do the talking for me.” I think her ‘game’ – her work – as Assistant Principal of Lincoln Trail has done the talking for her and if it is a position she wants to keep, I think she has earned that right.
Board Members, I know you are privy to information I don’t have, but clearly, if you would keep her in the classroom, she has done nothing to harm a child. Therefore, I can only deduct that she has done something to make you uncomfortable. If that is the case, you may need to do some self-reflection about why you feel uncomfortable and think about changes that may need to be made in your perspective of the situation. Please don’t let adult politics lessen the influence of this great educator on our children. We need people like Ms. Porter in leadership roles.