At LEAD Public Schools, we are committed to meeting students and families where they are at–and that is exactly what Randa Awad is doing at LEAD Southeast Middle. As the school’s office manager, Awad is using her Arabic skills to bridge the language gap between families and the school.
“I love communicating with students and families and supporting them to the best of my ability,” said Awad. “Being able to bridge relationships through language and translation helps our community grow and become one big family.”
Nearly ten percent of students at LEAD Southeast Middle come from Arabic-speaking families, which makes Awad a critical person on the team. In her role, Awad is one of the first faces families see and is able to support them with communication so language is not a barrier to them fully connecting with their child’s education.
“When families come with concerns and ideas, we can accurately and efficiently build the partnership between parents and teachers [through communication],” said Awad.
“Ms. Randa is an anchor in the Southeast community for students and families, and goes above and beyond to meet the needs of our teachers on a daily basis,” said Tom Schoen, principal at LEAD Southeast Middle. “Her daily actions are shining examples of our LEAD Ethos, and I’m so thankful to be able to work with her and learn from her.”
In the way she approaches students and their families, Awad takes some inspiration from one of her favorite educators: her 7th grade English teacher from when she attended school in Egypt.
“He cared about every one of us as an individual,” said Awad. “He was able to keep all students engaged through his continuous encouragement. I was incredibly shy in middle school and he encouraged me to come out of my shell. I will always be grateful for his influence.”
The culture of belonging that LEAD Southeast Middle has created has moved Awad to enroll her own child at the school for next school year.
“My son and I are excited that he will be able to experience a diverse group of cultures before moving on to high school,” said Awad. “One of the greatest things about LEAD Southeast is that even the principal and administration knows each student individually, and makes all of our students feel welcomed and recognized, which motivates them to come to school everyday and do their best.”
We are proud to have LEADers like Randa Awad serving our students every day. If you’d like to nominate a LEAD staff member for a spotlight, please complete the nomination form here.