Highlighting the Perrone-Sizer Institute: Michelle Brito

Between now and May 15 (the deadline to apply for next year's class at the Perrone-Sizer Institute) we'll be highlighting some of our fabulous PSI graduates! First up is Michelle Brito. In addition to writing up this special bio for us, Michelle was kind enough to answer some questions about how PSI has impacted her career.

Note: the Perrone-Sizer Institute was called the Creative Educational Leadership Institute (CELI) in its first year, when Michelle was a participant, so it is referred to as such in her bio and Q&A.

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Michelle is an educator of more than 10 years with a passion for aiding in the growth of individuals through the power of education. Her professional expertise includes tutoring for students, diversity work in schools, and strategic planning advice to community organizations. Michelle holds a B.A. in History from Middlebury College and an M.Ed in Education Administration from Emmanuel College. Michelle participated in the inaugural Creative Educational Leadership Institute (CELI) at Boston University.  Prior to her participation in CELI, Michelle served as the Director of High School Placement at Mother Caroline Academy. She still serves in the role, and credits her experience in the CELI program as a driving force in pursuing educational and organizational facilitation and consulting work with an emphasis on K-12 schools and non-profit educational organizations. Michelle is licensed as a K-8 principal and has been an educator and administrator for the past 9 years. A Boston native, she has experience in private and public schools in both urban and suburban settings. Her passion for the education of others is fueled by her own educational journey, beginning in Boston Public Schools. 

Role before PSI (CELI):
Before CELI, I served as a teacher and most recently as an administrator. I have been teaching K-8 since 2006, and I went into administration in 2009. I have served as principal of Mother Caroline Academy for three years. My most recent administrative position is as high school placement director at Mother Caroline Academy, where I assist 8th graders and their families with the secondary school admissions process.

Role after PSI (CELI):
I continue to serve as director of high school placement at Mother Caroline Academy. I have also taken on the role as interim social studies department chair for this academic year. Following my time with CELI, I have also begun to connect with small non-profit organizations and schools to do strategic consulting and workshop facilitation.

How are you impacting learning and leadership presently?
My work in secondary school placement is one that I approach with passion and precision. It is very important for me to work with families that are ready and willing to embark upon the high school admission process, particularly those applying to independent day and boarding schools. With the skills I have learned during my time as CELI, I have been able to incorporate principles such as design thinking to develop strategic networking partnerships with schools that admit and work with Mother Caroline Academy's graduates.

In what way(s) did PSI(CELI) prepare you for this work?
I came to CELI already having significant leadership experience at an early point in my career. For me, coming to CELI was a way to deeply explore what I wanted to do, and how I wanted to have an impact in the world of education. Through exercises such as, "Self, Us, Now", I learned how to hone in on how I personally connect to my work. Throughout the year, I really began to clearly identify how I want to make an impact as an educator, and that is through the work of creating equity and access for students in some of our most prestigious schools. My dream is to see more and more students from disadvantaged backgrounds equipped with the tools and support to successfully navigate through such schools.

In what ways do you continue to employ adaptive leadership, artistic processes, and community-based resources in the work you do today?
Because of my time in CELI I have come to learn the value of creating community-based partnerships. This academic year, I am not only reaching out to various private and public schools, but I am also connecting with other community-based organizations to share and garner best practices for the placement work that I do. I have also been made more aware of how much we as educators and administrators must adapt in order to be successful, so whether it is with my families, students, or co-workers, I am able to pay attention to the ways in which I might have to rethink my actions in order to be a more effective colleague and administrator for my students and families. As an artist, I have realized how much I am willing to network and bring people together publicly and privately when it comes to school placement/ admissions, and equity and access for children!