Hays-Porter School Honors Principal at Black History Month Celebration

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Hays-Porter students recently took the time to celebrate and reflect on the significance of Black History Month and helped to recognize a leader making a positive impact during the school’s annual celebration and program.

Students sang “Life Every Voice and Sing,” written by J. Rosamond Johnson and James Weldon Johnson, at the beginning of the program.

Students sang, danced, read poetry and shared excerpts from their school reports on some of the country’s most influential African Americans. Classmates and community members who attended the program filled the school gymnasium.

“Black History Month is a time for us to not only honor the amazing contributions African Americans have made to our country, but to also reflect on our own lives and examine the ways we are all capable of achieving excellence,” said Keir Griffith, teacher at Hays-Porter and host of the program.

Students performed traditional African dances.

Griffith also talked about the legacy of the school’s namesakes, Hon. George W. Hayes and Jennie D. Porter. Hays was the first black court crier in Cincinnati, who later served three terms in the Ohio General Assembly. Porter established the Harriet Beecher Stowe School in 1914 to ensure that African American children received the same educational experiences that white children were receiving at the time. She was also the first African American woman to earn a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Cincinnati.

The annual program is also a time to reveal the recipient of the school’s Unsung Hero award, which recognizes an individual who has consistently gone above and beyond in leading the school and community and having a lasting impact of change and positivity. Nedria McClain, principal at Hays-Porter School, received this year’s award.

(l to r) Keir Griffith, resource coordinator for Hays Porter; Patricia Adams, Project GRAD; Principal Nedria McClain; Ozie Davis, CPS Board member.

“This truly caught me by surprise,” McClain said upon receiving the award. “I’m a behind-the-scenes type of person, and in a job like this, it’s just ‘Go, go, go.’ I am just so appreciative of this time with everyone today.”

Hays-Porter staff had invited McClain’s parents, family members and friends to the program to be a part of the surprise. They showed a video in which McClain’s parents were interviewed and shared memories and photos from her childhood.

“I can’t believe my family kept this a secret from me,” said McClain with a laugh.

View more photos from the event in the slideshow below. Keep up with the great things happening at Hays-Porter at haysporter.cps-k12.org.

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