Experience CLEE's Impact in MA Schools Through the Lens of MA Associate Principal, Sissela Tucker


Partnering with CLEE

Thoughts from an interview with Sissela Tucker, Associate Principal in Milford Public Schools, MA. Sissela is a Principal Residency Network Graduate ‘17, an Influence 100 Fellow, and an adjunct instructor for the PRN.

Note: This blog was written from an interview with Sissela and edited for clarity. To hear her share even more insight, please click on the audio link below.

When reflecting on my learning experience at CLEE it's hard to pinpoint one specific memory because there are so many that stand out. However, they all have to do with the people I've met while at CLEE. While the learning was undoubtedly profound, the relationships with the people stick with you for your entire life, both personally and professionally. The relationships that I've made throughout my journey have been the most critical aspect of my current professional life. Whether it be from commiserating after a particularly hard day, or reflecting on the work we were doing in the PRN and our “real jobs”. To this day, we reach out to one another when someone is thinking of doing a career or district change. We continue to use each other as  thought partners and soundboards when grappling with professional struggles. 

Everything that I have been and currently do in my career genuinely intertwines and connects with what I learned at CLEE. Prior to the PRN, I would have thought the person leading needed to have the loudest voice. Now I understand it's all about being able to listen. For me one of the biggest impacts the program had on my career was being able to step back and listen. I'm personally pretty good at having courageous conversations and pushing myself to a zone of discomfort. However, that isn’t the case for everyone. In the PRN, it was easy to open up and have honest conversations because it was a brave space. As I lead in my current role, it is now my job to use the strategies, protocols, and learning to create and give people that space. Allowing them to try and lean into those uncomfortable situations. Listening more than speaking has been a crucial part of my transformation as a leader.

CLEE and the PRN really helped me to understand how all the facets of the job and being in administration are interconnected.  You can't learn and teach without having a mission, vision, and goals. You can't have any of those things without having the structures in place. You have to co-exist in this bigger ethical and legal umbrella. Whereas you might understand all of those pieces in isolation, learning the threads that hold them together is really important because that's what your daily job is.

There have been times when I suggested to other leaders, both in MA and RI, to partner with CLEE when they acknowledge change needs to happen within their school communities. I believe that CLEE is incredibly evidence-based, well-researched, and well-thought out. 

I think the bigger reason why CLEE’s methodology works is because it's relevant and applicable for every human in your organization. From a person that's working in the cafeteria of your school to the adjustment counselors, curriculum specialists, and every other staff member in the building. Because the methodology is based on what it means to be a good human in a community, this is something that's relevant to everyone regardless of their title. 

We need to strive for a betterment of society and it starts within our four institutional walls. However, it must be done in a mindful, systemic way; if not, it's not going to happen. And that’s where CLEE comes in. CLEE excels in providing real ways to bring about the change to an organization, school community, or district.

Interested in partnering with CLEE? Click here to schedule a consultation with a CLEE Facilitator!