In this episode, we talk with Cliff Hong, who has been the Principal of Roosevelt Middle School in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) since the 2010-11 school year. Before that, he worked as an Assistant Principal at Edna Brewer Middle School in OUSD. Cliff taught middle and high school for six years in the South Bronx, Syracuse and in Oakland. In 2015, he was selected to be one of a handful of Executive Principals in OUSD. He is an ardent advocate for public education, which he sees as being absolutely necessary for a democracy to thrive.
Cliff discusses the skills and positive experience of working in different schools and systems across the country; how he and the Roosevelt team are thinking about growth and performance, and holding themselves accountable; about personalizing learning and supporting stronger relationships amongst students and adults; and about building a team over time working together.
We apologize in advance for the slight echo you’ll hear in this episode. We have our crack podcasting production staff working hard on resolving this problem. Thanks for understanding and we hope you enjoy listening to Cliff share his insights and expertise with you.
4:00 — Randy does his best Terry Gross
15:00 — Cliff as long in the tooth when it comes to the Principalship and dreaming of being a short order cook
17:30 — Becoming a Principal and the Skillz
31:30 — Listening while Principal
34:30 — An OUSD Executive Principal
42:00 — Bye Bye School Performance Framework and Hello CA Dashboard
54:30 — Roosevelt MS and a Community Ethic
1:02:00 — Personalization, Motivation, and Relationships
1:10:45 — Design Thinking at RMS
1:22:30 — Sustaining in the Principalship
1:27:30 — Cliff drops the mic
1:32:00 — Listener Question!
1:37:00 — The Five-ish Questions