Watch The “Rapping Principal” Welcome Students
Margaret Starkes' ode to the 2020-2021 school year is not to be missed.
The first day of school looked a lot different this year for the millions of children who returned to school this week, including thousands in the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
All city schools are doing distance learning for the first quarter of the academic year, and while the district is working hard to make sure all students have the resources they need to learn from home, there's bound to be a few bumps along the way.
Thankfully, faculty and staff members are stepping up to help make the transition as easy and stress-free as possible. That includes Principal Margaret Starkes of Pittsburgh Miller Pre-K, who was featured in a video posted by Pittsburgh Public Schools earlier this week.
In the video, Starkes performs a back-to-school rap, where she uses her rhyming skills to welcome back families, students and staff and to assure folks that, despite the changes, they're "all in it together this time."
video c/o Pittsburgh Public Schools
Known as the "Rapping Principal," Starkes has posted videos for her students for several years, although she knew this year's jam had to be special.
"I knew families and students would be having anxieties," Starkes told Trib Live. "I wanted to provide that sense of normalcy and stability."
Starkes has been an educator for 27 years, and has worked as an assistant principal for several schools in the district. She joined the staff at Pittsburgh Miller in the city's Hill District neighborhood ten years ago, where she's been making videos as a "culturally responsive" way to engage learners.
"I truly love connecting with our school community in an innovative and creative way," Starkes said.
Starkes (pictured in the front row on the left) has been in the education field for over 20 years. Pittsburgh Public Schools/Facebook
Her welcome-back videos have gotten lots of attention in the past, including last year's remix of the Drake tune, "In My Feelings," that got over 10,000 views in just one day.
Starkes is hopeful that, despite a few hiccups, the district will be successful in getting students engaged in learning online. After just a few days of school, she said more and more children at Miller are logging on to join the lessons.
"We're all learning together," she said. "It was a really special rap this year."
We love this! What an inspiring way to get students excited for a new school year – even if they're spending the first part of it at home. Educators like this make all the difference!