PMP393: Turnaround Leadership with Dr. Tameka Hyland

Dr. Tameka D. Hyland is a transformative educational leader. As principal of Sherman Avenue Elementary, she and her team raised its grade from D to C and scored the second highest reading scores in Mississippi within two years. As the executive principal at Vicksburg High School, her team not only increased the graduation rate to a historic 91%, but also elevated its grade from D to B. Under her leadership, the school became a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence and saw record enrollments in dual courses and advanced placement.

Dr. Hyland is also a thought leader in education, authoring The Reality of Teaching and her upcoming book U-Turn: A Recipe for School Reform. She is also the founder of the Teacher Leadership Academy, offering professional development, and the Empowering Future Women Mentoring Program, aiding young ladies in grades 9-12.

With degrees spanning from Child Development to Educational Leadership, Dr. Hyland is deeply invested in school reform and strategies to elevate student achievement. In short, she’s an educational powerhouse committed to excellence.

Listen to the entire episode for amazing takeaways. Here are a few highlights from the episode:

Tameka Hyland’s Leadership Journey:

Dr. Hyland was given the task by her superintendent to make her assigned school the best it could be. This inspired her to build the necessary systems, structures, and relationships to achieve excellence.

Importance of Vision

Vision means buy-in, not necessarily all at once. As a leader, it’s crucial to instill hope, provide the tools needed, and remain unwavering in the commitment to student success.

Finding the Right People

Clearing up misconceptions, identifying passionate individuals about student success, and discovering hidden talents within your staff is key. Dr. Hyland acknowledges several teachers and staff members who played pivotal roles in her schools’ success.

Design Matters

If you’re unhappy with your results, introspect and re-design aspects like teaching/learning standards and curriculum.

Intentionality in Leadership

Be well-versed with your data, promote transparency, and build trust.

Facing Challenges

Embrace challenges and view them as opportunities to find solutions.

Advice for New Leaders:

  • Accept that no one knows everything.
  • Seek help when needed.
  • Utilize the wisdom of those before you.
  • Allow people to truly know you.
  • Highlight the talents of others.
  • Don’t fear resistance.
  • Remember school members are also community members. Value their input.

For more in-depth insights and takeaways, tune in to the full episode! You can connect with Tameka via LinkedIn or by email at

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William D. Parker
William D. Parker