“We can open the doors…but if that individual does not find the passion to go through and take on the challenges, they don’t go through. They stay in the same spot.”
“I remember studying, afraid to fail because I knew if I failed, I was going back to South Providence, to the streets, which meant jail.”
Harry Potter is a retired education and administrative professional who focused on development and implementation of programs for student welfare. With over 31 years of experience in the education field, he has gained expertise as a facilitator, leader, mediator, and motivator. Many can attest to his compassion towards students and wealth of experience in overcoming obstacles and barriers that prevent individuals from reaching their potential.
Harry was born in Providence, Rhode Island and attended Providence public schools. As a young man, he displayed a passion for learning and a genuine interest in history and education. This passion led him to be accepted into the Talent Development Program at the University of Rhode Island, where he pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Secondary Education. He graduated in 1980 with a strong foundation for his future career in education.
Harry returned to the University of Rhode Island, this time as a full-time staff member in 1984. During his time at the URI, he furthered his academic journey and earned a Masters of Science degree in family counseling in 1987. This advanced degree provided him with valuable insights into helping students and families navigate the challenges they faced.
In 1991, Harry decided to focus on making a difference at the grassroots level and joined the Providence School Department as a counselor for elementary and middle schools. His empathetic nature and understanding of family dynamics made him an invaluable asset to the students and their families. Over the next two years, he built strong connections and became a trusted figure for the students he guided.
Driven by a desire to take on greater responsibilities and create a more significant impact on the education system, Harry pursued a master’s degree in Secondary Administration at Providence College. In 1993, he graduated and soon embarked on his journey as an educational leader. In 1993, Harry became the Assistant Principal at Mt. Pleasant High School, where he demonstrated his exceptional leadership and organizational skills. Four years later, in 1997, he was appointed as the Principal of Hope High School.
Recognizing his leadership capabilities and commitment to student success, Harry was appointed as the Director of the Office of Student Opportunities for the Providence School Department in 2022. In this role, he spearheaded the development and implementation of various District and Community programs aimed at reducing the dropout rate and enhancing student opportunities. His dedication and hard work significantly contributed to creating a more supportive and nurturing educational environment.
Harry has not only made a substantial impact in the field of education, but as a leader in the community as well. He has helped thousands of students to reach their educational goals. He has been personally responsible for graduating over 1350 students from his ADEP program known as ‘The Harry Potter program’.
After a distinguished career spanning over three decades, Harry Potter retired in 2009, from the Providence School Department. His contributions to education, counseling, and administration left an indelible mark on the lives of students, educators, and families alike. Throughout his career, he championed the importance of providing equal opportunities to all students, fostering a sense of community, and promoting academic excellence.
R.O.G. Takeaway Tips:
- Are you willing to share what makes you successful? (experience, wisdom, resources, encouragement)
- Take time to understand yourself and what makes you who you are.
- Be the ripple effect.
- Notice the needs of others and jumping in to help.
- Pay it forward.
Where to find R.O.G. Podcast:
R.O.G on YouTube
R.O.G on Apple Podcasts
R.O.G on Spotify
How diverse is your network?
N.D.I. Network Diversity Index
What is your Generosity Style?
Coming Next: Please join us next week, Episode 143, with Harry Potter.