Today, the Gary Community School Corporation (GCSC) announced the appointment of Carl Scott as Co-Principal of West Side Leadership Academy (WSLA). The Gary West Side graduate and long-time educator has served in various educational roles in Indiana and Illinois including teacher, Instructional Coach, Dean of Students and Associate Principal.
As co-principal, Scott will focus on academic performance and day-to-day building operation. Co-principal Brandi Herrod will oversee the dual credit program emphasizing the increase in opportunities for students to earn college credits while in high school. WSLA has begun the certification process to earn the designation as an Early College high school.
“I am excited to be home and look forward to working with the faculty, staff, parents and students of WSLA,” said Scott. “Together we are stronger as we address critical areas like academics, school safety and the overall educational experience for every scholar.”
GCSC Manager Dr. Paige McNulty applauded the search team on their selection and for forging ahead with a creative approach to school leadership.
“Academic progress and continued increase in the graduation rate are our main priorities at West Side,” said McNulty. “The team felt the co-principal model would be most effective in accelerating tangible results.”
In addition to GCSC administrators, the selection team included school community stakeholders -- students, parents and teachers.
"As a member of the interview team, I was impressed with Mr. Scott's knowledge of our data trends and diverse challenges of our school,” said Social Studies teacher and basketball coach Christopher Buggs. “He presented a comprehensive educational plan to improve all parts of the school. I was also impressed with his plan to collaborate with our leadership team to empower them to help implement his educational vision to the school and community."
Herrod, who joined the WSLA leadership team in 2021, welcomes the additional layer of support Scott is poised to provide.
“As principals and administrators, we wear so many hats all in the name of giving students what they need,” said Herrod. “This ‘divide and conquer’ approach will allow greater focus on academic success and more options for our scholars post graduation.”
Incoming senior and student athlete Dontae Pope recalled Scott having a positive impact on his life as his dean in elementary school.
"I had the honor of being a part of the interview panel for Mr. Scott, and he was very organized and professional,” said Pope. “Mr. Scott was also my dean in elementary school, so I am really glad to see him back in our school system. I think he will be what's best for my peers and me."
WSLA parent Nina Burton appreciated being included in the selection process and is encouraged by the appointment of additional male leadership at the high school level.
"Mr. Scott seemed excited to be rejoining his community and was confident that he could reach our students, especially our young males, while building a strong relationship with teachers, who are invaluable to our District,” said Burton. “He also stated that he's ready to hear from and work with parents and the community.”
Scott holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Science from Chicago State University, a teaching certificate from Calumet College St. Joseph and a Master of Arts in Education from Indiana University. He is a husband, father of four and avid marathoner.
The Gary Community School Corporation is actively enrolling students for the 2022-23 school year. For more information, call 219-881-5466 or visit garyschools.org.