Preston Smith on Starting a Grade School and Becoming Its Principal

In Chapter 5 of 22 in his 2014 Capture Your Flag interview, elementary charter school network CEO Preston Smith answers "What Made You Decide to Leave a High School Teaching Job and Become a School Principal?" After completing his second year teaching at Teach for America and going through CMAs - Corps Member Advisor - training and development, Smith runs into bureaucratic obstacles during his third year teaching. The challenge gets Smith more engaged in the local community and leads to him starting a new San Jose grade school that he leads as principal.

Preston Smith is co-founder and CEO of Rocketship Education, the highest performing low-income school system in California. After graduating the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Smith joined Teach for America. After three years teaching 1st Grade, he founded a district school in San Jose and became its principal. Smith was selected as a member of the 2010 class of Aspen Institute New Schools Fellows.