Spring 2017| Posse Alumni Quarterly


Posse Alum Leading from Within

Principal Carl Manalo, a Vanderbilt University Posse alumnus, with one of his QIRT graduates.

As the principal at Queens High School for Information, Research, and Technology (QIRT) in New York City, Vanderbilt University Posse alumnus Carl Manalo works strategically to create a school culture where teachers and students feel safe and empowered. In such an environment, he believes, teachers and students will “take risks that improve student achievement.”

Carl developed this guiding philosophy over the course of his 15 years in urban education. He spent nine years teaching in the classroom and another three as an achievement coach for teachers across the city, before being appointed principal in 2014. “It’s a fantastic job,” Carl says, “because it’s all about the relationships and culture you build.”

Having inherited a school that had recently experienced several changes in leadership, he sought input from the whole community as he developed his school improvement plan: “Everyone needed a seat at the table. It’s not just the [principal] that leads the school.”

Under Carl’s leadership, QIRT’s graduation rate increased by 15 percent, raising the rate to 70 percent, which now outperforms the peer index of 61 percent. In addition to his core strategy of creating an empowering school culture, QIRT is investing in team-taught classrooms, a high school completion campaign utilizing emojis, and a career day welcoming more than 60 professionals.

Attributing much of his development as a leader to The Posse Foundation, Carl says, “Whenever Posse calls, I answer.” A recurring alumni donor and part of the Posse 25 for 25 giving campaign, Carl also volunteers his time as a writing coach.

“Giving back is important,” says Carl. “Posse is something that gave to you.”

Find leaders such as Carl Manalo in the Posse Portal's Alumni Directory.

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