Principal Spotlight: LEAD Southeast Middle’s Thomas Schoen
LEAD Public Schools is shining the spotlight on Thomas Schoen, the principal of LEAD Southeast Middle School. Schoen took over as school principal this summer but is no stranger to LEAD Public Schools.
Schoen began teaching 5th and 7th grade English Language Arts at LEAD Cameron in 2015. He then became an instructional coach at Cameron before moving into the role of Director of Literacy for the network in April 2021.
As Director of Literacy, he spearheaded the effort to ensure LEAD’s diverse population of students are represented in the books they read. LEAD students are from 38 countries around the world and speak 27 different languages.
“It benefits all of us, as global citizens, to not only have books as mirrors, to see ourselves in the conflicts and triumphs of the characters, but to also have books as windows, experiencing conflicts and triumphs of those who are different from us,” he said in a 2021 interview.
Schoen received his BA and MA in education from Miami University of Ohio. Schoen chose education because he believes it is one of the greatest tools to change the world.
“I choose to come back to LEAD each year because of the long-lasting relationships I have built with students, families, and staff,” Schoen said, “LEAD is a true family.”
“Students are at the heart of every decision I make,” Schoen continued. “The best part of being principal is building relationships with the LEAD Southeast student body. They give me the fuel to come in everyday and give my all.”
Schoen is passionate about working with students, but outside of school he enjoys exercising and reading. His time in education began teaching horseback riding to students while in graduate school.
“The first thing I do when I wake up is work out at 5am. The last thing I do before going to sleep is read,” he said.
“In Lin Manuel Miranda’s musical, Hamilton, he writes, ‘What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.’ This lyric represents education for me,” Schoen said. “Teachers, staff, and students plant seeds every single day. Even though we don’t always get to see the end result, we know the impact our students will have on our larger community will be legend-worthy.”