School: Coffeeville School District
School District: Coffeeville School District
City, State: Coffeeville, Mississippi
About the Nominee: Dr. Vivian Robinson began her career as an administrator in fall 2011. The high school she was assigned to was not performing as well as expected. She entered as an assistant under the direction of the building's principal. Immediately, she began implementing innovative ideas for students such as after school tutoring, incentives for attendance, desegregating data, developing home-to-school relationships with parents and aligning the curriculum to state standards. At the onset of her hire, Dr. Robinson began getting to know the students, their talents and which pathway of success would best prepare them for the real world. She made it a point to attend extra-curricular activities and recognize students for their successes, whether they were large or small. Her next task was to instill confidence in the teaching staff; they not only prepared students for state and national assessments, but for life outside of school. She worked long hours each day and on weekends in order to take care of minor teacher duties. Dr. Robinson wanted teachers to focus on student learning. For example, she would remain at school well beyond 8 PM to ensure teachers received detailed information about upcoming events. She began disseminating weekly newsletters to ensure everyone was on the same page in the book of school success. Dr. Robinson met with parents on a daily basis to ensure they understood that every decision made at the high school would be based upon what is best for the students.
As the years progressed, so did the high school. In 2014, Dr. Robinson became the school's interim principal. She was determined that nothing and no one would compromise the education of her school's students. As interim principal, Dr. Robinson continued to push the importance of being positive for students and trademarked the saying "PUSH THROUGH." At this point, teachers began to see the vision of "doing what is best for students." To keep the teachers going, and out of her own personal funding, Dr. Robinson would have a "Friday Happy" for teachers every two weeks. These events included a potato bar in the lounge, ice cream bar, Taco Tuesday, donuts on Monday mornings, breakfast biscuits, etc. She re-established non-functioning leadership teams into functioning leadership teams to platform students, academics and learning. Dr. Robinson made it a point to always check on students academic, social and emotional performance. Because of this, the graduation rate grew to 89%. The high school also received it's first "A" accountability rating under her leadership.
The next year, Dr. Robinson officially became the high school principal at Long Beach. She continued to nurture and guide the students and staff. She added a Celebration Newsletter for staff members, which praised teachers on all the wonderful things they were implementing. Mississippi implemented the administration of ACT for all high school juniors during the 2014-2015 school year. As a result, Dr. Robinson began implementing school-wide strategies to increase rigor and bell-to-bell instruction. Her goal was to get the entire school to embrace the ACT, not just the junior class. Long Beach ranked third in the state, with a 20.3 composite testing for all students. The following year, Dr. Robinson assisted the school with ranking #1 along the Coast and #3 in the state, with a 21.3 composite score, well above the state and national ACT average.
Dr. Robinson would meet with each class in the gym and inspire each and every student to get their bang for their buck as high school students. Some other examples of programs she has implemented are a club that benefited both her school and community, Long Beach's first Facebook page and Long Beach's first Freshman Academy. Long Beach saw a significant decrease in freshman discipline and an immense increase in academic performance. Dr. Robinson always takes time to meet and nurture students. She wants to ensure their home and school lives are directly aligned so that they graduate and enter college or the workforce. Under her direction, Long Beach ranks #1 along the coast and #4 in the entire state.
She is great at collaborating with teachers and students, and she runs a high school with great culture and climate. For example, Long Beach had a fantastic talent show sponsored by teachers and a basketball game for which Dr. Robinson served as the coach for the teacher team. Although the teachers did not win the fundraiser game, they are definitely winning when it comes to ensuring every student at Long Beach High School receives a quality education. It is for these reasons that Dr. Robinson is a LifeChanger in her community. There is not enough room to talk about all the innovative programs and activities she sponsors, or the students and staff she inspires.