Principal Mike Sinclair has been instrumental in the planning, building and leading of Brashier Middle College Charter High School from the ground up, growing from 100 students in 2006 to 420 students in 2013. Embodying the mantra, “College for Everyone,” Sinclair encourages seniors to enroll in college classes as part of their high school experience. By the time they graduate from Brashier (and 98.9 percent did so in 2012), college attendance is a foregone conclusion. For Sinclair, success starts early in a student’s career. He identifies and intervenes with struggling students, and created the Freshman Academy for those who were failing more than one class, an effort that pays off in the school’s sky-high graduation rate.
Sinclair is as deeply invested in his teachers as he is in his students, a fact reinforced by Brashier’s participation in TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement, now in its second year of implementation. As principal, Sinclair heads the TAP Leadership Team of master and mentor teachers that model research-based instructional practices and ongoing professional development. The result is a very low turnover rate among faculty, who embrace his policy of never giving up on a student. Aware of the family’s role in a student’s success, Sinclair block calls parents every Sunday about the upcoming week and schedules them for participation throughout the year.
Sinclair’s approach has paid off. In the 2011-2012 school year, 77.7 percent of upperclassmen enrolled in college classes earning 1,934 college hours, and 98.3 percent of the students passed their courses with a GPA of 3.2 or higher. The class of 2012’s 98.9 percent graduation rate is compared with Greenville County’s rate of 65 percent. Furthermore, 2012 graduates received a total of $2.2 million in college scholarships. These impressive numbers have resulted in increased applications to the school, based on the reputation for success that Sinclair has built.
Sinclair’s positive impact on the educational community extends to the state and national levels. Described as an encyclopedia of best practices, he stays abreast of legislation, literature and statistics, using data to formulate results-oriented strategies. As a leader within the South Carolina Charter School Alliance, he regularly reaches out to state legislators. He guided the creation of a new charter bill that brought a $150,000 funding increase benefiting all charter schools in the state.
Always involved in the larger educational community, Sinclair serves on the SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) Review Team for the state of South Carolina and served as president of the Palmetto Charter Network. His ongoing efforts have improved relationships between public and charter schools. Cited as a model administrator, Sinclair is repeatedly asked to present workshops at the Middle College National Consortium (MCNC) in New York and co-instructs a graduate class in Building Learning Communities at Furman University.
Dec 17, 2013
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