Dr. Angela Askew, one of Binghampton’s Finest: A Servant-Leader

One of the first smiling faces I saw when I walked into W.H. Brewster Elementary was of the principal, Dr. Angela Askew. I was immediately drawn to her warm personality. Our meeting gave me insight as to who she is as a person and as a leader in the Binghampton Community.

Dr. Askew grew up in South Memphis and graduated from Hamilton High School. She attained her Master’s Degree from the University of Memphis and her Doctorate Degree from Freed Hardeman University. She wanted to give back to her community through education and instill in children they can achieve whatever they want to through hard work.

Seven years ago, she readily accepted the opportunity to come to W.H. Brewster to serve this community. She states that she absolutely loves this community, the parents, and the children. She is extremely excited about the revitalization and looks forward to the continued relationships that have been established to support the students both socially and academically. Some of the Community Partnerships with the school include: Power Intel, Marx Bensdorf Realty, Junior League of Memphis, Rhodes College, Fidel Woods (master barber), EIKON Ministries, Memphis Food Bank, the Rotary Club, First Baptist Broad, Binghampton Development Corporation, and Literacy Memphis.

Major factors that have proven to be key to her success are her visibility as a leader as well as buy-in from both parents and staff. She believes in involving all stakeholders for important decisions through committees such as School Improvement Plan Committee (SIP), Principal Advisory Committee, Instructional Leadership Team, and Parents as Leaders Committee. During faculty meetings, there is also a board for teachers to write their concerns anonymously and a comment box in the lounge where teachers may leave their concerns. She feels that open communication is key and she wants everyone to feel supported in his or her work.

Dr. Askew is a firm believer that if students put their mind to it, they can achieve whatever they want. “By instilling the need to learn as much as they can through hard work, dedication, and ownership, our scholars are equipped with what they need to be successful and productive citizens.” This belief has infiltrated W.H. Brewster. It is a beautiful Melting Pot that encompasses students from eleven (11) different ethnicities. With so many various backgrounds, a huge focus is placed on teaching tolerance, communication, diversity, and acceptance. For example, the Hispanic Heritage month is surrounded with ethnic celebrations including parents and students discussing their customs and culture so others may readily learn. They also bring in cultural items to be seen and tasted. During this celebratory time, children are even more engaged in their learning. Dr. Askew believes in bringing the learning to the children and creating as many exposure opportunities as possible for them to learn.

– Stephanie Williams