Principal Be Vang plans to spend her first year at Mississippi Creative Arts School learning about the school’s arts program, encouraging staff leadership and building new relationships with students and families.
For her new job, Vang will bring her 14 years of experience at Saint Paul Public Schools as a teacher and school administrator. She describes herself as a courageous, enthusiastic learner who isn’t afraid to tackle new challenges.
“I hope to learn as much as I can about the people, the culture and the ways things are done at Mississippi Creative Arts School so I can build upon it and strengthen it,” she said.
For Vang, communication will be a key part of being principal.
But communicating wasn’t always an easy skill, Vang said. Vang was born in Laos and immigrated from Thailand with her family when she was three years old. She said she didn’t like communicating when she was younger because she was an English-Language Learner.
“I realized that when you don’t communicate people make assumptions and most of the time the assumptions hurt more than help a situation,” she said. “Establishing and maintaining open and clear communication is very important to me.”
As a leader, Vang plans to follow learning- and student-centered pedagogy. Educators should clearly communicate their beliefs about students, how students learn and what educators’ duties are to each other, students and student learning, Vang said.
“I’ve been preparing myself and learning a lot about what it means to lead a creative arts or arts integration school,” she said. “I’m most excited to be an instructional leader who understands and values the arts as a critical component to learning.”
Education: She graduated from Highland Park Senior high. She earned an Elementary Education degree from St. Cloud University, and a master’s degree in Education at Winona State University. She received her Administrative License from the University of Minnesota. She’s working on an Education Doctorate at Minnesota State University in Mankato.
Career: She was a teacher for 11 years at SPPS. Her first administrative role was at Frost Lake Elementary. She also worked as an assistant principal at Phalen Lake Hmong Studies.
Family: She has four children who attend SPPS. Vang likes to take family road trips to Duluth and Chicago.