Two great characteristics

Published 6:43 pm Friday, January 6, 2017

It’s funny how so many of those who make the biggest impact in a community are so self effacing about their influence.

John Yeates Middle School Principal Shawn Green is a case in point.

Green is set to be honored with a Community Leadership Award from the S. Delois Mayes Scholarship Foundation during that organization’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day benefit brunch on Jan. 16. He was nominated for the honor by one of the guidance counselors at John Yeates.

Email newsletter signup

“Mr. Green does so many things for kids,” said Sabrina Turner. “He motivates them. He empowers them. He just has a special way with making a difference with the youth.” Turner said Green is constantly encouraging to the staff and students at his school. “He’s the type of principal that he finds different ways to make a difference and to make an impact with the staff and students,” she said.

He serves as a mentor for the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe, a National Guard program for troubled youth based in Virginia Beach. He volunteers for the Oasis homeless feeding in Portsmouth. He participates in March of Dimes. His fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, also participates in several projects such as adopt-a-spot cleanups and school supply drives.

But Green doesn’t think of all that activity on behalf of others as anything special. He simply believes they’re the kind of things people should do to pay back for what has been invested in them.

“Growing up, we had people who would be willing to sit down and talk to us about life — share some of their stories — so me and my brother and my friends wouldn’t go down the same road as them and make some of the same mistakes,” he said. “Growing up, I always had someone that kind of played that role, so it’s almost as if it’s expected of me. Now that I’m an adult, I need to pass that along.”

Humility and a sense of civic duty. Those are both characteristics of great leaders. The students and faculty at John Yeates Middle School are blessed to have Mr. Green at the helm.