Sitting among principals from the 100 Fulton County schools and central office staff at their monthly meeting on Dec. 13, Amana Academy Principal Ehab Jaleel listened to the district's Superintendent, Dr. Robert Avossa, transition his remarks from leadership advice to recognizing key individuals with "game balls".
The game ball portion of the meeting is highly anticipated; and Mr. Jaleel was stunned to hear his name called out. As he does at every month's Principals Meeting, Dr. Avossa hands out a football or basketball to a few select individuals working in the system who are nominated by their peers and evaluated by the Executive Committee for service and leadership. Ehab Jaleel was the first charter school leader to receive the honor.
He was nominated by Ms. Laura Stowell, Charter School Coordinator for Fulton County Schools. In her nomination she said Jaleel, whose official title is executive director at he charter schoool, has brought together all stakeholders to support a five-year strategic plan that includes communications, learning, people, governance, finance and campus.
"He exemplifies the leadership essential of embracing change to drive improvement by leading a staff re-organization to re-focus the school on academics and realizing an impressive turnaround in test scores," Stowell said in her nomination. "He simultaneously led the governing board on a path of reinvigoration to focus them on development and new talent development, rather than micromanagement."
The charter school lost its bid to relocate to a larger facility when Alpharetta rejected a rezoning request. But that didn't stop him from helping to find a way for the school to increase its size to meet student needs.
"He is currently working on a $10M purchase and renovation of the current shopping center complex which has housed the school for the last four years and will need to accomplish this feat without use of any county capital program dollars. The word 'Amana' means 'trusting stewardship' and Ehab Jaleel embodies that value for the students of Amana Academy," Stowell concluded in her nomination.
In sharing the news the next day with his staff and governance board, Jaleel said, "This award is really a recognition of a collective team effort between Amana administrators, teachers, and parents; and it speaks to our school's motto of 'We are Crew, Not Passengers'."