Charlene Norris Recognized as AP of the Year


Haadiya Mhomed

AP Charlene Davis Norris was honored as the KISD district Assistant Principal of the Year this month.

AnaBelle Elliott, Staff Writer


Assistant Principal Charlene Norris was recognized as AP of The Year for the entire district. Norris’s radiant smile, optimistic outlook, and outstanding love for her job and the students was already strikingly evident by students and staff, but this achievement was formally gifted to her this year.

“I received an email from Dr. Champion that said ‘Congratulations Davis-Norris,’” Norris said.   “At this time I was at the hospital with my dad. I didn’t even come to work that day and I had just had a stressful moment.  I was checking my email and I saw that and I was like ‘what’s this? I’ve never gotten an email from Dr. Champion before.’ It was totally unexpected; I didn’t even know there was such thing as District AP of the Year.  It was an unexpected blessing in the time of a storm.”

Norris knew she wanted to be in the education profession since she was very young.

“I always wanted to be a teacher,” Norris said. “I grew up in a family of educators. My dad was a coach, we have principals.  We are big in education. From kindergarten, I remember telling my teacher ‘I’m gonna be a teacher too’ it was an inspiration from those who were around me and I saw what they were doing for other kids so I have fulfilled that dream.”

Norris views her role as an AP and how she can impact people as a reward in and of itself.

“I don’t even need [the award] because at the end of the day my reward comes from the kids,” Norris said.  “I know that I make a big difference so whether they give me a big District AP of the Year or Teacher of the Year- I don’t need any of those things because I get my rewards daily from everybody who I touch.”

Although many college students change their major several times, Norris always knew what her focus would be on.

“As I kept going through trying to decide on a career, it was the only thing that made sense,” Norris said.  “And so I never really wavered from anything else. So I knew what I was going to do. It was easy going into college and staying on a career path; I didn’t have to go and change my major three times like some people. I was consistent all the way through.”

When asked who her favorite teacher was, Norris revealed that it was her father.

“He was my greatest teacher,” she said. “Even though he never taught me a class, the lessons I learned outside of school were huge.“

“On my way to work every morning I just say a prayer that God allows me to continue to walk in my purpose and to impact a life,” Norris said.  “That’s my goal is ‘let me not lose focus, let me continue to walk in my purpose, and in some kind of way hopefully I can impact somebody’s life.’ In order to change or help or guide in order to help somebody.”

When Norris is away from Klein she enjoys reading and spending time with family.

“What I love to do, but never have time to, is read,” Norris said. “I just like to get a good book and be uninterrupted. I love to be on a beach.  I love traveling but I don’t get to travel much because I have a crazy schedule. Spending time with my family [is important.] I have two kids, seven [years old] and four [years old] and so most of my time goes to them when I’m not here.”

While Norris finds that all of the Klein 5 core values are important on a day to day basis, she believes that some may be more prominent than others depending on the situation.

“It’s so situational,” Norris said.  “I pride myself in my service but when I’m dealing with kids and discipline it may be integrity or empathy that I need to focus on. Or when I’m dealing with a kid whos got something going on, I need to talk about perseverance and I need to be able to tell them that you can’t stop. You just have to keep pushing and you can’t let this obstacle stop you from where you’re trying to go.  I use all [the Klein 5 traits] every single day so there is no ‘one’ because I see a lot of different things throughout my day and I have so many different situations period to period. So I use them all.”

Norris’s degree is in interdisciplinary studies with a focus in special education.

“When I first went to college I knew I wanted to be a special ed teacher because I felt like that was a need, and I wanted to be able to help students with special needs.”

Norris’s favorite class in college was African American literature.

“It just opened up my eyes because I had no idea there were so many African Americans in art and literature and the pieces that I read were so inspiring,” Norris said. “Because in school you know your authors, you got your Shakespeare, but you don’t see or hear of a variety of cultural people so that was enlightening to me like ‘oh my God there’s African Americans who write.”

Norris shared that one of the most memorable moments in her life was when she graduated from college.

“That was huge,” Norris said. “When you go into college you see a whole bunch of people who you befriend and you’re on this journey together. It’s new and exciting but then you see at the end not everybody makes it. Not everybody finishes. So for me that was one of those moments where I was proud of myself and what I accomplished and how I persevered through and accomplished one of my biggest goals.”

Although it is well-established that being an AP is a huge responsibility, Norris does not view it as a “job.”

“I don’t look at my job like its a job,” Norris said. “I can’t call it a job- it’s just what I do.”

Everyday Norris’s mindset is to remain positive.

“I can be that person who can help uplift someone on a rough day or to try to keep smiling,” she said.”  “I always try to keep smiling even in the craziest moments and sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn’t. There’s some things sometimes that are going on that you just can’t smile through, but what I’ve learned especially in this last week since I’ve been dealing with my own personal things with my dad is that when you make small deposits in people, they do the same thing for you when you need it. So this week and last week I was able to see that the seeds that I am sewing here are growing and cultivating and coming back to help me when I need it. I am truly blessed that I have been a blessing to others and that they can turn around and bless me, and so it’s just about coming in and doing what I do. That’s my mindset- Lets do it.”