For most people education is synonymous to formal schooling, limited to the years at the beginning of their life. For Victoria Youngblood Baldwin, education is a doorway to future opportunities and a lifestyle she continually seeks to grow and expand her leadership.
Youngblood Baldwin has been an english teacher, an english team lead, an AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) teacher, an AVID coordinator, a dean of students and will be assistant principal in the 2017-18 school year. In the past years she has worked at both Irving ISD and Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, but is moving forward to Arlington High School.
Q: How would you describe your progression through each position you have held?
A: I like helping people and I feel like that is my calling. So really it all starts from doing a good job when I help my kids and I am asked to implement that with larger groups. Every teacher I help is also another 150-200 students that I could also reach by helping that person. Every new position has helped me help new people
Q: What is your favorite part of being in a classroom?
A: One of my favorite things about being a teacher was getting to know my students through their writing and connecting with them and their personal experiences through reading. Often, we would read a story and find how it connects to our life. We were able to have discussions to get a bigger picture.
Q: How was being a dean different from a teacher?
A: The biggest difference is that I’m not limited by just students who are assigned to me by classes, I help all the students in the school. When students have significant problems or concerns or just something that is going on in their world, I have the time to be able to sit down and talk with them. In the classroom, I had such a limited amount of time so I couldn’t get to down to the root of the problem, [but as a dean] my time is more flexible.
Q: Why are you interested in moving to administration?
A: I wanted to continue to help more students and more people. My sphere of influence grows. As assistant principal I will not only be able to help the whole school, but work on structures and things within the tasks I’m assigned.
Q: What do you anticipate being your biggest challenge as an administrator?
A: I think it will be meeting the needs of the students: making sure they are successful in reaching their goals and holding them accountable. I need to make sure the high school experience is one that they will enjoy, but make sure they meet academic needs...so that balance.
Q: What is the best aspect of public schools?
A: We have something for everybody, whether it is an after school club, a sport or another activity. We try our best to find something a student is interested in and get them involved. Students who are involved in extracurriculars are more likely to graduate on time, which is one of our goals for our students. We just make sure they have the skills - teamwork, reading, writing, math - so they are able to be successful wherever they go.
Q: How would you describe education?
A: It creates doorways and opportunities for people to do what they love and give back. Students who might come from a background of poverty, just don’t have much, education is the key to getting better jobs so they don’t have to struggle. Also students can see the world, they can get scholarships to learn outside of their state or hometown to new cultures, and further themselves in making a career.