The people of the city
The Oprah afterbuzz: Wunderkind principal reflects on the $1 million YES Prepgift
Leah Granacki has been at YES Prep's East End campus for four years. At 24 years old, she's in her second year as principal.
So it was a special moment last week when the Teach for America alum watched along with her students on a cafeteria projector screen as Oprah Winfrey announced a $1 million gift to the school system (CultureMap was the first publication to report the $1 million Oprah-directed windfall).
"The kids were dwindling as the bell rang and people had to get out to the bus, but we did see a preview and there was a lot of excitement, lots of cheering," Granacki tells CultureMap.
It's undecided how the money will be split among YES Prep's eight Houston-area campuses, or how it will be spent. Granacki says she'd love to see it put toward improving facilities, one area where charter public schools are often at a disadvantage.
"The money we receive from the city is less than traditional public schools, so that's one place we could definitely benefit from extra funding," she says. "But there a number of other places it could be well used." (We know at least one East End art teacher who has some ideas.)
YES Prep East End was Granacki's placement school as a Teach for America participant. Hers was the first TFA core (from 2007) to be strategically placed in the Houston charter system. The Cornell graduate and Spring native is working on her masters in public administration at the University of Houston.
Her next big undertaking? Planning her upcoming wedding.
That day will have a lot to live up to — thanks to Oprah.