Pictured above is Chenile Tezeno, who is a new assistant principal at Ville Platte High School along with Sarah Hamlin LaFleur. She explained her satisfaction of leading her students through a new school year. (Photo courtesy of Chenile Tezeno)
Tezeno celebrates three years as assistant principal
Chenile Tezeno is now an assistant principal at Ville Platte High School and recently shared how she continues to be a leader and what she does to help out the school.
Question: When did you first become involved in education?
Answer: I first became involved in education during my second semester of college. I spent many summers teaching young children during Vacation Bible School at my local church. After becoming passionate about working with young people, I knew my destiny was to become a teacher. Teaching is one of the most empowering ways to positively impact a child’s life. My love for children made me realize that my purpose on earth was to allow God to use me to help shape the lives of young people and encourage them to persevere into their destiny.
Question: What made you decide to become an assistant principal?
Answer: My passion to be a part of a system that can change children’s lives for the better made me decide to become an assistant principal. As I enter my third year of being an assistant principal, I truly believe that not only have I aimed towards positively impacting the lives of all students, but all of my students have influenced my life in many ways. Leadership consists of one’s heart, head, and hand. I do not believe a leader can be effective without all three. There are so many children who need guidance and support. As a teacher, I worked to find ways to reach each of my students who had individual needs. I also saw the importance of teamwork, so becoming an assistant principal was a way I could support and work with my leader in order to enhance the future of many young people.
Question: What do you hope to get from being an assistant principal at Ville Platte High School, and what would you enjoy about leading the students there?
Answer: I truly believe that one cannot be a sufficient leader without first becoming a follower. Therefore, I hope to gain knowledge from my leader and support the school’s vision. I believe that building relationships is the key to success, so I hope to build lasting relationships with my leader, staff, students, and the community.
As a leader, communicating with students is very important. I would definitely enjoy talking with them and finding out what is important to the students at Ville Platte High. While interacting with the students, I would definitely want to know their goals and find ways to help them achieve their goals. Every student has something special and unique about them, and when we take the time to get to know them, we will discover astonishing things about who they truly are. Many times, learning about students helps us as educators learn something about ourselves.
Question: What kind of impact do you try to impart on your students as their leader?
Answer: As a leader, I believe that every child is capable of learning. I always try to ensure that students are aware that they are just as smart and capable as anyone else regardless of their background or situation. Everyone has a choice. Students can submit to everything that is happening around them and live a life of excuses or push themselves to develop a successful life. It is important that I work hard to ensure that every student visualizes all the possibilities in life.
Question: What are some of the issues you see today among students — what are people’s worries and concerns?
Answer: I believe one big issue among students is lack of self-awareness. Lack of self-awareness can lead to bullying, poor life decisions, low self-esteem, and sometimes suicide. Being socially compatible to the point of doing the wrong things is still an issue that has plagued many young people.
I believe it is safe to say that people want to live in a good, safe, and productive community and perhaps fear seeps in displaying just the opposite leaving a residue of worries and concerns.
However, being concerned without taking a step to change a bad or negative situation is unrewarding. We must act in order to ensure that our students have a successful future. We must help them find the right path in life. I say we because I believe the adage - it takes a village to raise a child - still holds true today, therefore join us in making our schools better.
Question: What are some of the ways you are addressing world issues with your students?
Answer: There are many world issues today, but I suppose my initial focus will be on the importance of an education or the lack thereof and unemployment. As an assistant principal, students can see that successful part of my life, but what they can’t see are the hard work and dedication it took to reach that destination. I hope to gradually open their eyes to other important factors such as obedience, focus, respecting themselves and others and bouncing back from failure.
My role must be about reaching out to all students in shaping their success, so that they may go out and do good and extraordinary things to help minimize world issues that have devastated the lives of too many people.