Same Year, New Principal


A new face will soon join the North faculty. On Tuesday, Feb. 26, the MCCSC board approved the hiring of Michelle Brittain-Watts as North’s new principal. She will begin on April 1.

North has been without a full-time principal since November of 2018, when Michael Akers vacated the position and began work as MCCSC’s interim assistant director of building operations. Andrea Mobley, assistant superintendent for human resources and operations and a former assistant principal at North, has been serving as North’s interim principal since Akers’ departure.

Brittain-Watts has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the College of Wooster and received her teacher certification from Indiana University Bloomington. She holds a master’s degree in education administration from Butler University and a master’s degree in psychology from Martin University. Brittain-Watts worked for many years in Indianapolis Public Schools in a variety of roles, namely as a special education and math teacher. Following the birth of her son, she transitioned to Pike High School, where she worked for eight years. Brittain-Watts then returned to Indianapolis Public Schools to be an administrator over their alternative program. And most recently, she has served as the principal of the Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School.

Having worked in education for several decades, Brittain-Watts understands that not all schools are the same. She plans to observe the community and culture of North upon her arrival in April before making any major changes.

“Initially I will come in and do some fact finding. I will do an evaluation and talk to families, students, and staff to just take an assessment of what they feel has been going on. And then I will come up with a game plan and action step of how we can address those things and move forward. And everyone will be included in that process,” said Brittain-Watts.

Amidst a variety of rumors surrounding what her arrival could mean for the school and its students, she remains strong in her commitment to do only what is best for the school.

“I did get a little feedback from what the superintendent is expecting. But I’m going to gage it initially off what I see and observe. I think it would be premature for me to come in and say that we are gonna do it my way or no way. Not every community is the same, and each one’s needs are different,” said Brittain-Watts. “I can use these few months while we are in session to do a fair observation and assessment of things. I don’t believe that I will come in and change anything unless it’s a safety or security issue.”

When asked what specific things drew her to North, Brittain-Watts cites North’s “rich culture and history” and “the fact that it’s a very successful school”. It is these factors that create an intimate connection between North and its soon-to-be principal.

“[North] mirrors my personal experience in high school in Cleveland, Ohio. It was a very eclectic environment and was high performing,” said Brittain-Watts.

And in terms of who she is and what she wants to do, Brittain-Watts has a very simple message:

“I’m a dedicated educator who believes in providing as many opportunities for students to be the best that they can be.”