July 30, 2013
Posted by Joan V. Gallos
An amazing leadership story is that of Karen Tal and her work launching the highly successful public school in Tel Aviv, Bialik-Rogozine.
Listen to Karen speak about the school and herself. http://www.tedxtelaviv.com/2010/07/18/karen-tal-thriving-on-turmoil/
I had the pleasure of meeting her recently; and Karen’s passion, commitment, and authenticity were palpable. You can also learn more about the school in the Academy Award winning short documentary “Strangers No More.”
Karen set out 7 years ago as a new principal to merge two failing schools in the poorest section. She brought strong belief that it is our duty to help all children to learn. She found within herself the courage to manage her own fears and doubts. She shared a clear vision with the teachers and school staff: in 5 years, the school will become an educational miracle where every student can increase his or her potential. She offered a challenge to the school, government agencies, and diverse partners: “Join me, support us, or I will support the closing of these schools.”
Statistics show Bialik-Rogozine has more than succeeded by objective educational measures of retention, graduation rates, college admission, etc. Images of the diverse and caring community created for the 800 students from 48 nations and their families tell an even bigger story more.
Efforts are underway, working with successful entrepreneurs from the business community, to find ways to up scale this model of education and community building. Nothing could be more important as we confront the complexities of peace and harmony in an increasingly diverse and global world.